partly because we’ve been traveling and partly because i’ve been eating way too many cookies, i’ve been craving salads lately. some days i’ve even had salads at two different meals (alas, this is a Thing for me – i don’t normally eat so many salads, unfortunately). if i’m eating them with other things, then i don’t worry too much how filling they are going to be. if the salad is the meal, though, then it has to be hearty and satisfying, like this kale and roasted butternut squash salad.
this salad was loosely inspired by one of my favorite salads, the kale salad with pecorino and walnuts over at smitten kitchen. the main ingredient that i borrowed from that salad is the garlicky sautéed panko breadcrumbs. beyond the subtle crunch that they add, the garlic flavor plays really nicely with the kale.
i then threw another of my favorite recipes into the mix and borrowed the roasted butternut squash, shallot, and goat cheese idea from my butternut squash, sage, and goat cheese pizza. beyond that, i stuck with the tried-and-true combination of dried cranberries and toasted pecans to round the whole thing out. yum.
one of my favorite things about kale salads, aside from the fact that they’re healthy or whatever, is that the kale actually gets better the longer it sits with dressing on it. unlike typical lettuce salads that get slimy and gross if you store them after they’ve been dressed, the kale holds up really well even with dressing.
this salad will keep nicely for at least a day or two in the fridge, even with dressing on it. the only part that doesn’t keep super well is the panko, so if you’re planning to store the salad, you may want to store the panko separately. the upside of the salad’s storage longevity – beyond the obvious – is that you can make a batch of this kale and roasted butternut squash salad and have tasty lunches waiting for you in the fridge, ready to grab and go each morning. healthy new year lunches? check!
ps – not into kale? check out my other roasted butternut squash salad, made with shaved brussels sprouts (love!) and arugula…