“Massaged” Kale and Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

Massaging is a simple technique that doesn’t take very long but does make a world of difference in kale salads.
By Chris Scheuer
"Massaged" Kale and Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

"Massaged" Kale and Roasted Butternut Squash Salad
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
Massaging is a simple technique that doesn't take very long but does make a world of difference in kale salads.
Recipe Type: Salad
Serves: 6
  • 2 cups diced butternut squash (about ½ inch dice)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 4 strips applewood bacon, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • ¼ cup finely diced red onion
  • 5 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup apple cider (apple juice will also work)
  • sea salt, a generous pinch
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 bunches kale, any type of kale will work, I usually use Tuscan kale
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup pomegranate arils or seeds
  • ? cup roasted, salted pepitas
  1. Preheat oven to 400?F. Line a sheet pan with foil.
  2. Toss butternut squash, olive oil and sea salt on prepared pan and roast until tender, approximately 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. While squash is roasting, prepare dressing; cook bacon pieces until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and discard all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat..
  4. Sauté onion in bacon fat for 1 minute. Add cider vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, cider, salt and pepper. Stir well to combine and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and and continue cooking for 5 minutes or until reduced and slightly syrupy. Remove from heat.
  5. For the kale, strip; leaves from the stems. You can either cut the stems up and use them in your salad or discard them. I usually discard them but some people like the extra crunch.. Wash and dry the kale (I use a salad spinner), then tear the leaves into small pieces and place in a large bowl.
  6. Sprinkle kale with salt, and drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Massage with your fingers (just like you would for a back massage!) until it begins to wilt, darken in color and the volume is reduced to about half, around 4-5 minutes.
  7. If dressing has cooled off, rewarm for a minute or so. Toss massaged kale with a few tablespoons of the dressing. Transfer to individual serving plates, if desired. Sprinkle with the roasted butternut squash, bacon, pomegranate arils and pepitas. Pass extra warm dressing at the table.

Chris Scheuer

Crescentia "Chris" Scheuer is the creator of The Café Sucré Farine food blog, which has been hugely successful since its inception in March 2011. Her recipes are seen on Foodgawker, TasteSpotting, Gourmet Live, Bon Appétit Bloggers, Foodista and other international food sites. Her inspiration for creating new, innovative cuisine comes from an insatiable curiosity, a love of travel and family connections in the UK. She has taught cooking classes in Raleigh, NC, USA.

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