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Author Notes: This salad is like fall in a plate. Hearty roasted Kabocha, sweet pomegranate seeds, and slightly wilted kale all combine for a filling salad. —Dominique Fry
- 1 medium unpeeled kabocha squash (about 3-4 lb.), cut into 1/2-in.-thick wedges
- 4 tablespoons fresh pomegranate seeds
- 1 medium red onion, diced
- 1 bunch green curly kale
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2-3 tablespoons Grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut Kabocha in half. Remove seeds. Cut into 1-inch vertical slices. See pic for reference.
- Drizzle a bit of olive oil on a baking sheet. Place Kabocha slices, drizzle 2 tablespoon olive oil over it, sprinkle salt and pepper (aprox. 1/4 teaspoon of each). Toss it gently with hands to coat. Cover with foil. Bake at 375°F for 10 minutes. Remove foil; bake 15 more minutes or until pumpkin is tender and browned, turning once.
- While the Kabocha roasts, thoroughly rinse the kale in cold water, soaking if necessary to remove grit. Tear the kale into chunks. Give it a good spin or shake to remove excess water and place it in a large salad bowl. Reserve.
- Remove Kabocha from the oven. Let it cool off slightly. Peel the skin and cut into small cubes. Reserve.
- Heat the remaining olive oil (2 tbsp) in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Season with some salt (1/2 tsp) and pepper. Remove from heat, add the balsamic vinegar, and poor over the kale in the salad bowl. Toss, and toss, and toss some more until kale is a fully coated and a bit wilted. Add the Kabocha cubes and pomegranate tossing it slightly.
- Finish by topping it with the Pecorino or Parmesan cheese. Serve it warm.