Kale is a nutrient POWERHOUSE, but its taste can sometimes prevent even the un-pickiest of eaters from taking advantage of all it has to offer. Sautéing or baking the kale into a dish can help weaken its overpowering bitter taste, but serving it raw in a salad… well, you’re better off just not serving it at all. Cue the baby kale. Yes, you read correctly. There’s a baby kale and, well, an adult kale. Adult kale is the kale you’re likely used to seeing in the grocery store and restaurant dishes. It’s extra curly, somewhat tough, and pretty bitter. On the other hand, baby kale is more tender and less bitter, and therefore easier to consume raw.
I used local baby kale from BrightFarms as the star of this dish. Did you know that local produce typically retains more flavor and nutrients than conventional produce? That’s because it’s grown nearby, and therefore the time from harvest to table is significantly shorter!
This baby kale salad is the perfect seasonal dish for you next holiday get-together. It’s topped with all of the colors and flavors of Fall, including roasted delicata squash and chickpeas, pomegranate seeds, walnuts, and an orange-scented tahini dressing. It’s packed with protein and fiber, which will help fill you up without filling you out… and can make you less likely to mindlessly snack on all them holiday goodies (pies, and cakes, and cookies, oh my!).Print
This baby kale salad in orange tahini dressing is packed with seasonal colors & flavors, thanks to roasted delicata squash & chickpeas, pomegranate seeds, walnuts & goat cheese, making it the perfect holiday dish!
Roasted Delicata Squash & Chickpea Kale Salad:
1 medium-sized delicata squash, halved lengthwise and seeded, sliced into ½-inch pieces
1, 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
Salt and pepper
2, 3-oz packages BrightFarms local baby kale
½ cup pomegranate seeds
4 oz chopped walnuts or hazelnuts
2 oz crumbled goat cheese
Creamy Orange Tahini Dressing:
Juice of an orange + 1 tsp zest
3 Tbsp tahini
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp maple syrup
Salt to taste
Preheat oven to 425 ˚F. Place squash, chickpeas, garlic, olive oil, cumin, and pumpkin pie spice in a large, resealable plastic bag. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, close bag, and shake to evenly coat squash and chickpeas with oil and seasonings.
Spread squash and chickpeas in an even layer onto a foil-line baking sheet. Roast until golden brown, about 25 minutes; let cool.
Meanwhile, combine dressing ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth.
To prepare salad, toss baby kale with dressing until evenly coated. Top with roasted squash and chickpeas, pomegranate seeds, nuts, and goat cheese.