Hearty Kale Salad with Kabocha Squash, Pomegranate Seeds, and Toasted Hazelnuts

By • December 17, 2012 • 8 Comments

693 Save

Author Notes: I think of this as a perfect winter salad. Creamy kabocha squash adds heft and comfort to the dish, while a tart vinaigrette and pomegranate seeds liven it. You can serve it as a denser appetizer, or as a light meal. Gena Hamshaw

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.
Jump to Comments (8)

Comments (8) Questions (0)


10 months ago AnM

I tried it and it was the star of the feast. Don't spare the pomegranate and break up the kale into bite chunk sizes so no knife is needed.


over 1 year ago laurel'skitchen

I used butternut squash (the already cut-up stuff from the grocery store) and my husband LOVED! It.


over 1 year ago CarolineSL

This was fantastic! I added some diced pancetta for an additional layer of texture. Just loved the kale dressing. Now to get my husband to stop complaining about "that $10 squash"!


over 1 year ago Crissy Shipp

this was great with sweet potatoes, sausage and quinoa!


over 1 year ago DeirdreMS

Would love to see a picture of this type of squash.


over 1 year ago marie.killian.5

This makes me hungry, lol, I ma at work and away from my 'fridge! Home plan. Using Carothers' Olive Oil, the best olive oil to enhace an already great recipe/idea! http://www.carothersoliveoil....


over 1 year ago Joe Strandell

Looks delicious!
I love your blog! So many great articles... I thought you might like to know that www.Dentist.net is offering 10% off their products with the code ORALCARE :)  Happy New Years!