I made a fantastic salad for dinner the other night. No, no, stay with me here. I am not normally one of those “salad for dinner” kinds of people. I think dinner needs to be a little more substantial than a salad implies, but kale and mizuna salad with roasted delicata squash, chunks of sharp cheddar cheese, and toasted walnuts is not your ordinary salad.
I love delicata squash, but up until recently, I didn’t know you could eat it without peeling it. I stumbled across this recipe for kale salad with kabocha squash on Runner’s Kitchen, and it suggested leaving the peel on for the extra nutrients. That got me thinking: I had a delicata squash sitting on the counter, and it would go very well in a kale salad, so could I pull the same trick with leaving the peel on? The answer, the internets told me, was yes.
I simply halved, seeded, and sliced the squash, tossed it with some olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roasted it. It was a fantastic addition to the salad, and the peel was so tender I almost didn’t notice it was there. Added nutrients plus less prep time? Yes, please!
When the hubby heard we were having salad for dinner, his first comment was, “So are we having dessert, too, or what’s the plan, here?” I agreed that dessert was certainly an option (it’s always on the table when I am involved), but after we ate, neither of us was too interested in more. The salad was tasty (really!), satisfying, nutrient-packed, and easy to make. I hereby proclaim it the Best Salad Ever.
Give it a shot, even if you’re not a salad person. You just might be surprised.
1 delicata squash
3 Tbs olive oil, divided
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 bunch kale (preferably lacinato), ribs removed and finely chopped
1 bunch mizuna, tough stems removed, chopped
1/3 cup walnuts, toasted
1/4 cup crumbled or chopped sharp white cheddar
Juice of one lemon
Pecorino romano or other hard cheese, for topping (optional)
Heat oven to 400°. Slice the ends off the squash, halve it, and scoop out the seeds. Slice it into 1/4-inch half moons. Toss the squash slices in about 1 Tbs olive oil, salt, and pepper, and spread on a baking sheet in one layer, leaving space between the slices. Roast in the oven until tender and caramelized, 20-30 minutes, tossing with a spatula every 10 minutes or so.
In a large mixing bowl, toss the kale and mizuna with the remaining 2 Tbs olive oil, the lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Divide greens between two plates and top with equal amounts of cheddar, squash, and walnuts. Garnish with shaved pecorino romano, if desired.