The holidays hit us out of nowhere, with every website and blog and magazine I see screaming at me with overpriced gift guides, and fancy decor ideas and all the million things you need to buy to get the holidays right this year. Frankly, I just opt out of it all. Don’t get me wrong, I am totally getting into the holiday spirit. I am lighting the Chanukah candles and I am planning various cookies I’d like to make. Last year I made homemade marshmallows for my colleagues, and this year I’m plotting some varieties of homemade chocolate bark. I’m getting started on some embroidery and knitting projects, and I’ve set up some minimal Chrismukkah decor for our multi-holiday home. When it comes down to it, any way I can shut out the noise that is the constant consumerist chants of ‘buy! buy! buy!’ and get back to the cozy-crafty-creative heart of the holiday season I think means good things all around.
Speaking of good things, I’ve tended to become the girl who always brings a veg dish to Christmas/Thanksgiving. I find that often those holidays are really starch and sugar heavy and I need some kind of nice green, vibrant dish to make me feel a little more in energized (not that there’s anything wrong with sugar and starch!). This is the kind of salad I would most certainly bring to a holiday celebration or pot luck, and I think that most people (even those who are salad-averse) would get some joy out of the texture, colours and bright flavours.
Kale and delicata squash salad with pomegranate, orange & pumpkin seeds
Serves 4 -6
- 1 delicata squash
- ½ large red onion
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper
- ½ cup pomegranate seeds
- 2 navel oranges
- 1 bunch of lacinato kale, stems removed, chopped into bite size pieces
- ½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds (toasted on the stove for 5 minute or so until starting to brown)
- Optional: ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
For the dressing
- 1 tablespoon orange juice (from oranges included above)
- 1 tablespoon red white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare the squash and onions: wash and dry the squash and slice the into into ¼ inch thick rounds (you don’t need to peel delicata squash). Use a spoon to spoon out the seeds. Slice the ends off a red onion and remove the peel. Slice half the onion into ¼ inch rounds and reserve the rest for another use.
- Place the squash and onions on a parchment (or foil) lined baking sheet, sprinkle on chopped herbs, salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Toss to coat, and spread out the rings so that they are not overlapping very much.
- Roast the squash and onions for about 40-45 minutes tossing every so often, until the onions are well browned and the squash is lightly browned.
- While the squash is roasting, segment the oranges over a small bowl, so that it can collect the juice that drips out of the orange while you’re segmenting it. Set the segments aside. Squeeze the juice from the remaining ‘body’ of the orange into the bowl.
- Make the dressing by whisking together 1 tablespoon of the juice collected in the bowl, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil with salt and pepper to taste.
- While the squash is cooling (you’ll want it cool enough to handle), put the kale into a bowl and rub with the dressing (give it a nice massage!)
- Top kale with the roasted squash and onions, orange segments, pomegranate seeds, toasted pumpkin seeds and feta. Serve!