I honestly didn’t know what to call this salad. The name is sort of an accurate description. I saw this amazing Fall Panzanella salad on Susan Pridmore’s blog The Wimpy Vegetarian. I immediately knew I had to make it it just sounded so good, kale, butternut squash, bread, apples, onions. I fell in love, then I had lunch at Speedy Romeo’s, a fantastic restaurant in my neighborhood that makes the most amazing brick oven pizza in incrediblely creative ways. They also have some awesome salads, I ordered a kale, apple, pomegranate, goat cheese salad that rocked my world. I have to add that I went there with Patty Nguyen, she is an very talented photographer and has a beautiful blog of the same name that I have been following for several years now. This is not the first time we met, whenever Patty comes to NYC we get together. I had the pleasure of meeting her family this time and we had a wonderful time.
Back to the salad as I explained Susan’s Fall Panzanella grabbed me and then the salad at the restaurant was incredible, they have similar flavor profiles. I need to eat more salad, but for me it has to be super flavorful and very interesting. Lettuce and tomato are great (on a BLT) but not that interesting. I decided to take both salads and take a little from each, add my own touch and see how it comes out. It had to have kale that was a must, I wanted it to be seasonal so I added butternut squash that was roasted in the oven, apples, some toasted pumpkin seeds and pine nuts and grated aged Asiago cheese. I used Susan salad dressing which is made with apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and apple. I massaged the kale for a long time, a good 15 minutes I wanted it to be really relaxed, 10 minutes with a little olive oil and another 5 minutes with dressing, added chopped apple, butternut squash,nuts, seeds and grated cheese, another splash of dressing, season and voila, a delicious, nutritious fresh salad, bursting with flavor.
Fall Harvest Salad
1 head green curly kale cleaned, leaves torn from stems and chopped chiffonade
2 apples cleaned, cut into bite size pieces
2 cups cubed butternut squash
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds toasted
1/2 cup pine nuts toasted
approximately 1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese
Pre heat oven to 375 degree’s. Place butternut squash pieces on sheet pan lined with parchment, drizzle with olive oil and toss to make sure every piece is covered in oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast in the oven for approximately 30 minutes or unti squash is tender and lightly browned.
Remove the squash and set aside, place the pumpkin seeds and pine nuts on the same piece of parchment and toast in the oven for about 15 minutes watching carefully so they do not burn. Remove nuts and set aside.
Grate cheese and set aside.
Place chiffonade kale in large salad bowl, drizzle on a little olive oil and massage the kale really well, I worked on it for about 10 minutes. Add some of the dressing and massage another 5 minutes. Cut the apple into bite size pieces and toss into the kale, add the squash, nuts and seeds, toss to combine, add the grated cheese, season with salt and pepper, add more dressing if you like (I did). You can serve immediately but this salad keeps really well in the refrigerator for hours so it can be made ahead of time.
Dressing- Apple Vinaigrette
Recipe by Susan Pridmore- The Wimpy Vegetarian
1/2 apple peeled, seeded and diced
3 tbs apple cider vinegar
1 tbs maple syrup
3-4 tbs olive oil
1/4 tsp kosher salt
Mash the apple in a small food processor, if you don’t have a small processor heat in the microwave for about a minute and mash using a mortar and pestle. Whisk mashed apple into the vinegar, salt, maple syrup and olive oil.