Kale Salad with Squash and Toasted Almonds

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.

Kale Salad with Squash and Toasted Almonds

Kale Salad with Squash and Toasted Almonds


  • 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)


  1. 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.
  2. 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.

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