Food 52’s Healthiest: Northern Spy’s Kale Salad

Every Tuesday, we scan Food52′s delectable menu of recipes for the healthiest picks they’ve got—bringing you seasonal, scrumptious fare that’s also really good for you.
Northern Spy's Kale Salad
(Photo Credit: James Ransom for


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

This week, Food52 is giving you the guidance you need to recreate the hottest menu item at the hottest little restaurant in the East Village: Northern Spy Food Co.

Here’s what Senior Editor Kristen Miglore has to say about it:

“Northern Spy’s menu changes often, but this salad has been a a mainstay since they opened in 2009. The kabocha gets traded out with the seasons for things like fresh apricots, kohlrabi, or patty pan squash. When I don’t feel like waiting for squash to roast, I go with slices of apple or persimmon. It’s amenable.

And guess what? No massaging. Unless you have to settle for the huskiest looking curly kale in the produce section, Northern Spy prefers that you toss without getting quite so handsy — leaving you with still-bouncy wisps of green, sweet pockets of squash, pops of almond, and all that cheese. Go tell it to your co-op.”

And we don’t need to beat you over the head with the health benefits of kale. Just eat it. Seriously.

Northern Spy’s Kale Salad
Serves 2

Kale Salad
(Photo Credit: James Ransom for

Adapted slightly from Northern Spy Food Co.

1/2 cup cubed kabocha, butternut, or other winter squash
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 bunch kale (preferably lacinato or dinosaur kale), ribs removed and finely sliced, about 2 1/2 cups
1/4 cup almonds, cut roughly in half
1/4 cup crumbled or finely chopped Cabot clothbound cheddar (or any good, aged cheddar — if you can’t find aged cheddar, use parmesan)
Fresh lemon juice
Pecorino or other hard cheese, for shaving (optional)

1. Heat oven to 425° F. Toss squash cubes in just enough olive oil to coat, and season with salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet (lined with parchment for easier cleanup), leaving space between the cubes. Roast in the oven until tender and caramelized, about 40 minutes, tossing with a spatula every 10-15 minutes. Toast the almonds on a baking sheet in the same oven until they start to smell nutty, tossing once, about 10 minutes. Let cool.

2. In a large mixing bowl, toss the kale with the almonds, cheddar and squash. Season to taste with lemon juice and olive oil (approximately 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 2 tablespoons olive oil). Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Divide salad between two plates or shallow bowls. Garnish shaved pecorino cheese, if desired, and serve.

More healthy recipes from

Grilled Brussels Sprouts
Radish and Pecan Grain Salad
Mung Bean and Butternut Squash Stew

Loading More Posts...

You May Also Like

NYC bill would let you ignore after-work emails

Tired of after-work emails? A new bill in NYC would give you permission to ignore them

spinach and cheese quesadilla

How to make a low-FODMAP dinner in less than 10 minutes

Caesar Salad Power Bowl

This Southern twist on the classic Caesar salad gives it superfood status

Difficult life events might lead to wisdom

There might be a scientific silver lining to getting through difficult life events

3 tips on how to network with social anxiety

3 tips to dominate networking events despite having social anxiety, according to a psychiatrist

Kids start caring about reputation as early as 5

You probably started curating your social rep before Instagram existed—and it might be a good thing