Kale Salad with Caramelized Squash + Maple Orange Dressing

Your seasonal fall menus need a fresh counterpoint, and this Kale Salad with Caramelized Squash + Maple Orange Dressing is IT. Serves 6.



For the salad:

  • 1 lb butternut squash, cubed (or about 3 cups any seasonal root veg, i.e. delicata squash, beets, sweet potatoes, or carrots)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 bunches dino kale, also known as Tuscan kale or lacinato kale, stems removed 
  • 1/2 cup pepitas
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate arils, and/or dried cranberries, or thinly sliced apple, pear, or persimmon
  • Handful or two crumbled goat cheese, feta cheese, or blue cheese
  • Optional: few slices crispy bacon, crumbled 

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1 clove grated garlic or 1 finely chopped shallot
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard 
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste

The Riffs, Subs + Swaps!

  • The Butternut Squash: Any kind of fall or winter squash or hardy veg works, i.e. delicata or honeynut squash, carrots, beets, etc.
  • The Kale: Use curly kale if needed.
  • The Orange: Sub in lemon.
  • The Maple Syrup: Sub in honey or date syrup, or omit all together.
  • The Apple Cider Vinegar: Sub in any vinegar as needed, I love champagne or red wine vinegar here.
  • The Toppings: I like the balance of a toasted nut or seed, a fresh fruit or two, and a crumbly cheese. My go-to's are toasted pepitas, pomegranate arils and sliced apples, and crumbled goat or blue cheese. Sub in pecans or walnuts in place of pepitas, pears, persimmons, or citrus segments as the fruit, or feta or ricotta salata for the cheese. Crispy crumbled bacon is also a *very* delicious topping.


Roast the squash

  1. Preheat oven to 425*F.
  2. Toss butternut squash with Sizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and few generous pinches of kosher salt. Arrange on baking sheet and roast for about 35-40 minutes, or until squash is caramelized on the outside and fork-tender, being sure to toss squash about halfway through.

Make the vinaigrette + prep rest of salad

  1. While the squash is roasting, make the vinaigrette. To large bowl or jar, add garlic, apple cider vinegar, orange zest and juice, maple syrup, dijon mustard, and few generous pinches kosher salt. Let sit for about 5 minutes to macerate the garlic. Whisk in olive oil until combined.
  2. Roughly chop the kale and toss in vinaigrette and really massage it with your hands for a minute. This helps take off that super intense earthy bite, and the kale will essentially marinate in the dressing as the rest of the dish comes together. 
  3. After you prep the kale, toast pepitas in skillet over medium heat for about 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until they are lightly browned and crunchy. Set aside.

Finish + serve

  1. When the butternut squash is done roasting let cool for several minutes.
  2. In large serving bowl, toss dressed kale with half of the butternut squash, half of the pepitas, half of crumbled cheese, and half of the pomegranates to evenly coat in dressing.
  3. Top salad with remaining ingredients and serve!  (Pro tip: tossing the greens with half of the toppings and finishing with the remaining toppings prevents all of the fixins from falling to the bottom of the bowl, you’re welcome).