A Holiday Delight: Kale and Apple Salad with Delicata Squash and an Apple Cider Vinaigrette
This festive bowl is filled with all of your favorite healthy holiday delight colors and textures. It is filled with leafy green kale, sweet honey crips apple slices, nutty pecans, tender delicata squash half moons, pomegranate seeds that pop in your mouth, savory feta cheese and toasted breadcrumbs. Serve this with my apple cider vinaigrette on the side. It is the perfect addition to a Christmas dinner this holiday season or a week night meal during these long cold winter months.
Sometimes during these long cold winter months all you crave is warm, cozy comforting meals. The last thing on your mind might be a cold healthy leafy salad. But, this holiday delight is more than just a cold healthy leafy salad. It is brought to life with colorful winter flavors and in addition, it is brought to life with a very specific warm and cozy main ingredient I like to call: delicata squash. This addition to the salad makes it so warm and inviting, you can have your comfort and eat it too.
I partnered up with All of the Good Stuff to create the prettiest winter salad. They were so generous to send me some of their delicata squash from the their farmers out in Colorado. Iv’e talked about them many times in previous recipes such as my October Taco Tuesday, Honey Lavender Corn Bread Muffins, White Chicken Chili Spaghetti Squash Boats and Thanksgiving Stuffing.
I love that I am able to utilize and incorporate all fresh farm grown items as well as support small businesses at the same time. All of the Good Stuff is a small business who also works with other small businesses and they sell fresh farm grown produce, honey, salsas, spices, seasonings, pasta sauces and more!
If you are the type of person that loves farmers markets, but don’t always have easy access to them or time time to go, All of the Good Stuff is there to be your helping hand. So, I highly recommend checking out their website and all of their goodies, becuase good news for you...they will deliver right to your doorstep!
Can we take a second and stop to appreciate how pretty this salad truly is!? It contains and abundance of flavors, colors and textures that all come together and work so well. This salad provides that healthy aspect we look for when we need a break from all of those rich, dense comforting winter meals. In addition, it is also filling and gives you a little bit of everything between fruits, vegetables, nuts, cheese. It can serve as a tasty side dish or as a main meal.
If you haven’t created your Christmas menu yet, be sure to add this on there when you do! But, beware once it is on there it won’t come off because this salad is that good and will become apart of your family traditions for christmases to come. Tag @prettyplatebymichelle or #prettyplatebymichelle to show off your holiday delight!
Serves 4, INGREDIENTS: For the Salad
1 Bunch Kale, kale removed from their stems, washed and patted dry or salad spun to drain any excess water
1 Delicata Squash, cut in half, seeds removed and then sliced. Baked in 1 TBSP olive oil, 1/2 TSP salt and 1/4 TSP black pepper
1 Honey crisp apple, sliced
1/2 Cup fresh pomegranates
1 Cup whole pecans
1 Cup seasoned bread crumbs, toasted with 1/4-1/2 cup olive oil (you will use 1/2 cup toasted for the salad and serve the rest on the side as extra)
2 TBSP feta + more for serving on the side
INGREDIENTS: For the Apple Cider Vinaigrette Dressing
1/2 Cup olive oil
1/2 Cup red wine vinegar
1/2 Cup apple cider (the juice NOT apple cider vinegar)
2 TBSP honey
1/2 TSP Italian seasoning
1/2 TSP salt
1/4 TSP black pepper
Remove kale leaves from their stems, place in a strainer to wash. When all leaves have been removed rinse under cold water to wash. When done, place the leaves on the paper towel and pat dry. If you have a salad spinner, I recommend using your salad spinner a few times to remove any excess water. When done, place your kale leaves to the side.
Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with foil and non-stick spray, set aside.
Cut the ends off your delicata squash and slice it in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scrape the seeds out and discard. When done, slice each half of the delicata squash into half moons and place in a bowl.
Pour 1 TBSP olive oil, 1/2 TSP salt and 1/4 TSP black pepper into your bowl of sliced delicata squash. Mix well and transfer to your prepared baking sheet. Once oven is done preheating, bake your delicata squash for 15-20 minutes or until tender. When done, remove from heat and set aside.
While delicata squash is baking, whisk all ingredients for your apple cider vinaigrette in a bowl. When done, transfer to your serving vessel of choice and place in the fridge until ready to serve.
Next, heat a pot over medium to low heat. Place 1 cup of seasoned bread crumbs in your pot, pour 1/4-1/2 cup of olive oil in the same pot. Stir to mix. Toast your bread crumbs, this will take about 10 minutes. When bread crumbs become golden and toasty, remove from heat and set aside.
If you are using a whole pomegranate then break open and begin removing seeds, if you bought the cup with them already removed, skip this step.
Wash your apple and slice, place in water so they do not brown until ready to assemble the salad.
In a large bowl, place the all of the kale, about half of the sliced apples, 1 cup pecans, 1/2 cup bread crumbs, 1/2 pomegranate seeds and 2 TBSP crumbled feta. Pour 1/2 cup of your salad dressing over and mix well.
Transfer your dressed salad to your serving bowl. Add baked delicata squash on top, garnish with more apple slices and serve with extra cheese, bread crumbs, and dressing on the side.
PRETTY PLATE KITCHEN ITEMS USED: