I don’t know about you but I’m in desperate need of some healthy salads now that the holidays are behind us, in fact I couldn’t wait to run out and buy a bunch of greens. I settled on three gorgeous heads of escarole and my favorite, cavolo nero or Tuscan kale.
I never thought of using escarole in a salad because I normally eat it cooked, in a soup or with beans but I thought these two hearty greens would hold up well together when I layered strips of roasted butternut squash on top along with roasted chickpeas, walnuts and a few other things, and I was right!
I’ve always been a kale fan for salads but now I’m a newly converted escarole salad fan. It’s crunchy, it stays crispy (which I love), it’s hardy and it has a very mild, and an ever so slight bitterness that balanced out the buttery sweet squash. Please give it a try, you won’t be disappointed and besides,it’s really nice and refreshing to break away from the norm.
I love making shards of butternut squash and then roasting them, they look so pretty in a salad or tossed into some pasta, in a frittata or on top of a pizza. I try to buy a squash that has a long neck, because basically that’s the part you’ll be using for this. Remove the skin first with your vegetable peeler then continue making strips turning the neck part as you go.
Toss them gently in a little olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in a 400 degree oven, keep watching, they could burn quick. Sometimes I move them to the top rack to get rid of some of the moisture and keep a better eye on them.
Let the squash cool down before you add it to the salad. There’s no real recipe here, just a list of ingredients that I used and that I could honestly say was so delicious and went very well together.
Along with the kale, escarole and butternut squash shards, I added roasted chickpeas, feta cheese, toasted walnuts and pomegranate seeds all tossed together with a vinaigrette made of olive oil and white balsamic.
This salad is hardy, healthy and just perfect to finish out the cold winter months, and don’t forget you can follow along with me on Instagram to see what I’m cooking up during the week!