This Northern Spy Kale Salad, discovered on Food52, has become a staple this holiday season: I made it first for the Advent Party, then Kris and Tom brought it for the annual reading of ‘A Christmas Memory,’ and now it’s playing a starring role on our Christmas Eve dinner.
I have adapted the recipe to serve 6 to 8.
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 to 3 bunches kale (preferably lacinato or dinosaur kale), ribs removed and finely sliced, about 8 cups
- 1 cup almonds, cut roughly in half
- 1 cup crumbled or finely chopped Cabot clothbound cheddar (or any good, aged cheddar -- if you can't find aged cheddar, use parmesan)
- 1/4 cup Fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Pecorino or other hard cheese, for shaving (optional)
- Heat oven to 425 F. Toss squash cubes in just enough olive oil to coat, and season with salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet (lined with parchment for easier cleanup), leaving space between the cubes. Roast in the oven until tender and caramelized, about 40 minutes, tossing with a spatula every 10-15 minutes. Toast the almonds on a baking sheet in the same oven until they start to smell nutty, tossing once, about 10 minutes. Let cool.
- Whisk lemon juice and olive oil together in a small bowl. Place kale in a bowl and toss with salt, pepper and just enough vinaigrette to coat. Massage kale leaves with dressing so they wilt just a bit. Lift the kale into 2 to 3 layers and toss squash, almonds and both cheeses between each layer, topping with a bit more dressing. (You may not use it all). Arrange almonds, cheese and squash on top of the salad in a pleasing manner. Grind fresh pepper and shave pecorino on top.