I adore this salad. Not only is it packed with super foods--kale, walnuts, and quinoa, but it's satisfying and simple to make. Kale is a staple in my kitchen during the non-winter months, as I buy it by the bunch weekly at my local farmer's market. I typically put it in smoothies, but I've been looking for ways to enjoy kale that don't involve as much sugar as fruit-filled smoothies. So, I settled on this salad that I find my self making over and over again. I change it up by using cherry tomatoes instead of roasted squash, feta instead of goat cheese, and varying how much quinoa I add. The hungrier I am, the more quinoa I use. I have also played around with the vinaigrette, using less and less olive oil each time.
If your quinoa and roasted squash are already prepared, it significantly cuts down on the time it takes to throw this salad together.
- 1/2 bunch Tuscan kale, washed, stems removed, cut into strips*
- 1 butternut squash, cut into one-inch cubes
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/3 cup goat cheese, crumbled
- 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
- For the vinaigrette:
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- salt and pepper, to taste
- *Removing the kale stems is important to reduce the bitterness of the kale. Also, the kale is least bitter at its freshest, so I recommend purchasing kale at your local farmer's market and using it within a couple of days.
- Heat the oven to 400 F. Cut the squash into one-inch cubes. Place on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake until the squash is browned on the edges, and a fork pierces through easily (30-40 minutes). Set aside.
- Rinse the kale under hot water for about 60 seconds (this will soften it).
- Prepare the vinaigrette by whisking the red wine vinegar, olive oil, dijon mustard, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl.
- Place kale into a bowl and mix with half of the vinaigrette.
- Add the cooked quinoa, roasted squash, goat cheese, walnuts, and remaining vinaigrette. Toss to combine.
- Adjust seasoning and serve.