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Food 52’s Healthiest: Hearty Kale Salad with Kabocha Squash, Pomegranate Seeds, and Toasted Hazelnuts


kale salad
(Photo Credit: James Ransom for Food52.com)

Every Tuesday, we scan Food52′s delectable menu of recipes for the healthiest picks they’ve got—bringing you seasonal, scrumptious fare that’s really good for you.

This winter salad is stocked with superfoods—kale is one of the most nutrient-dense foods out there, kabocha squash comes with a hearty serving of beta-carotene and vitamin C, and pomegranate seeds are packed with antioxidants. Bon appetit!

Hearty Kale Salad with Kabocha Squash, Pomegranate Seeds, and Toasted Hazelnuts
Serves 4-6

1 Large bunch curly kale, stems removed and discarded, torn into bite sized pieces, washed, and spun dry
1 Small kabocha squash (Japanese pumpkin), halved and seeded and cut into 1.5 inch pieces
4 tablespoons Olive oil, divided into 1 tbsp and 3 tbsp
3/4 cups Pomegranate seeds
1/2 cup Skinned hazelnuts
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons Lemon juice
1 teaspoon Maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon Sea salt
Black pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Toss the squash in 1 tbsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper on a baking sheet. Roast for 30-35 minutes, or until golden, stopping halfway through to stir.

2. While squash is roasting, place the hazelnuts in a shallow baking dish (or a pie pan) and toast in the oven for 4-6 minutes, or until they are golden. Check them frequently and remove them the moment they start to get brown. Once they’ve cooled a little, chop them roughly and set aside.

3. Whisk together the remaining olive oil, mustard, lemon, maple syrup, sea salt, and pepper. Pour 3 tbsp over the kale to begin with, and “massage” the kale well with your hands, till it’s coated in the dressing and taking on a soft, almost wilted texture. Add the remaining dressing as needed and according to tastes. Add pomegranate seeds and hazelnuts.

4. Once the squash has finished cooking and has cooled for 10-15 minutes, add it to the salad and serve.

More Healthy Recipes from Food52.com:

Barbara Lynch’s Spicy Tomato Soup
Green Chile, Chicken, Posole Soup