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

December 17, 2012
4 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 4-6
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

What You'll Need
  • 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 cup 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • epicharis
  • AnM
  • CarolineSL
  • DeirdreMS
  • marie.killian.5

11 Reviews

epicharis November 27, 2020
What serendipity to have everything on hand for this! (How often do you have blanched hazelnuts and pomegranate arils hanging around, anyway?) I used honeynut squash and threw in some blue cheese for my husband but otherwise just it's still superb as is.
pantryhero February 16, 2015
I tried this (also my first time using kabocha) and loved it! Took it to lunch every day for 2 weeks.
Heather January 20, 2015
I just found and made this recipe, and holy cow is it good! I added chunks of fresh grapefruit, and it's a total showstopper! Thanks!
AnM November 28, 2013
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.
laurel'skitchen March 1, 2013
I used butternut squash (the already cut-up stuff from the grocery store) and my husband LOVED! It.
CarolineSL January 28, 2013
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"!
Crissy S. January 16, 2013
this was great with sweet potatoes, sausage and quinoa!
DeirdreMS January 9, 2013
Would love to see a picture of this type of squash.
Terri T. January 28, 2013
marie.killian.5 January 9, 2013
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!
Joe S. December 29, 2012
Looks delicious!
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