I know what you’re probably thinking. “Warm winter kale and delicata squash salad? Really?” I know. It sounds like I just ran out of ideas and threw some foodstuffs together hoping no one would notice how weird they are.
That’s not that case. This is a damn good salad. After spotting the idea for a warm kale salad online, I decided to utilize the ingredients I had on hand to make a salad I could bring to Thanksgiving dinner.
Surprisingly, I didn’t get thrown out for bringing a salad to Thanksgiving. More surprisingly, people ate my salad and legitimately liked it. So much so that they went back for seconds.
At that point, I knew I had to recreate the recipe and share it here.
Wilted kale, delicata squash, toasted hazelnuts, and raisins all working together to create a cozy, delicate bite that’s full of nutrition. The maple vinaigrette just ties all the flavors together. You’ll forget you’re eating greens and get lost in the flavors of winter!
One of my favorite things about this recipe is that you can prep it in advance. I don’t mean just one part of the salad can be prepped the day before and you have to wait to dress it later. Really, you’re supposed to make the entire thing a day or two in advance to let the flavors combine—dressing and all. Typically, salads are very challenging to prepare ahead of time because you risk them getting soggy and gross. But for this salad, the kale is cooked so there’s no concern about sogginess.
Being able to make this salad before you need it makes it perfect for dinner parties, potlucks, or weekly meal prep!
I’ve got to admit, I ended up rushing the pictures of this recipe just so I could dig in. And I ended up eating the entire batch in one sitting.
Enthusiastically eating a massive salad for any reason means it must be good, so even though I’m not thrilled with how the pictures turned out, I knew I had to bring it to the blog as soon as I could. Hopefully that’s okay with you.
When making this recipe, I line a baking sheet with parchment paper and use it for all three rounds of roasting – the kale, the squash, and the hazelnuts. Less cleanup is always a bonus!
Better yet, roasting is the hardest part of this recipe. Once everything’s had its turn in the oven, you simply toss it all together and mix with the dressing. Then leave it in the fridge for up to 5 days until you’re ready to serve! A quick, 20 second spin in the microwave warms the salad up for serving.