On Friday, the weather was beautiful and the sun was shining and I felt excited and hopeful that spring was almost here. I even tweeted this:
…and then about 20 minutes later, I got a winter weather alert on my phone. And, indeed, we got about an inch of snow on Saturday. I think Chris and I are now true North Carolinians because, when looking out the window at the (pitiful!) accumulation of snow, we decided it was best to stay off the roads and hunker down for the day. How soon I’ve forgotten the days of schlepping around campus at the University of Wisconsin in blizzard conditions or being unable to open the balcony door in our apartment because several feet of snow had sealed it shut.
This Butternut Squash, Lentil & Kale Salad was supposed to be my farewell to winter post. I was going to vow to you that you wouldn’t see another kale or winter squash recipe on my blog until next fall rolls around. But after this weekend, I’m thinking it’s more fitting to call this my winter’s last hurrah post. Because as much as I want to believe that spring is almost here, it seems that Mother Nature has other ideas. (I’m not complaining either–as happy I was for the beautiful weather on Friday, it was nice getting a little snow for a change!)
A hearty winter salad made with kale, butternut squash, and lentils. Inspired by Real Simple's Chicken, Squash & Chickpea Salad.
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
- salt + pepper to taste
- 1 small bunch kale, tough stems removed and leaves torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1/3 c. tahini
- 1/3 c. water
- 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 c. cooked lentils
- 1 c. pita chips
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, toss butternut squash with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper. Transfer to baking sheet and roast about 30 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking time.
- While squash is baking, place kale in large bowl. Drizzle with one tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Using your hands, massage kale leaves until it softens and wilts, about 3-5 minutes. (Kale will taste mild when it's done.) Set aside.
- Whisk together tahini, water, lemon juice, and remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Divide kale, butternut squash, lentils, and pita chips into servings bowls or plates and serve with tahini dressing.
You can use store bought pita chips in this salad or make your own with fresh pita bread. Cut the bread into small pieces and bake them for 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees, or until crispy, stirring halfway through baking time.