Combine seasonal offerings into this pretty, super-nutritious salad, filled with antioxidants, iron, vitamins A and C, and protein.
10-12 cups washed, torn kale (or baby spinach)
1 cup cubed cooked beets
1 cup cubed cooked butternut squash
1 cup cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
½ cup toasted pecans (optional)
2 T maple syrup
1 T Dijon mustard
1T stone ground mustard
2 T soy sauce
2 T apple cider vinegar
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp grated fresh ginger (1” chunk of ginger, peeled and grated or minced
1 clove garlic, crushed
salt to taste
Roast the squash and beets: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Halve squash lengthwise and remove seeds and pulp. Lightly oil cut surface and place cut-side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Trim and scrub beets. If they are small, place them whole on the baking sheet. If they are large, cut in half, then lightly oil the cut side and place the beet halves cut side down on the baking sheet. Bake for 40-60 minutes until beets and squash are tender (small beets will be done sooner). Pro Tip: You can also boil the beets whole. They’ll taste just as good, and the skins slip off more easily.
When the beets and squash are cool enough to handle, peel them and cut into cubes, reserving the rest for another use. You can do this a day in advance.
Massage kale (skip this step if using baby spinach): While the beets and squash are roasting pour a little olive oil over the kale and, with your hands, massage it gently into the leaves. Let rest for at least 30 minutes.
To toast pecans: Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Add nuts in a single layer. Toast, stirring often, until golden brown. You can also toast nuts in a toaster oven: Put nuts in single layer on a pan or on foil and toast (medium) until done. Let cool before chopping.
Make dressing: Mix all dressing ingredients but oil and salt in a bowl. Drizzle oil in while whisking. Season to taste.
Assemble: Pile kale into serving bowl. Top with butternut squash, beets, and chickpeas. Sprinkle pecans (if using) on top. Drizzle about ½ cup of the dressing over the salad.
Hint: Toss the salad a few minutes before serving. The chickpeas will turn the loveliest shade of pink.
Serves 4-6 (fewer if served as a main dish).