This is the most exciting salad I’ve made thus far and as a self-proclaimed salad junkie that’s saying something! I know that sounds like such a grand statement but I seriously mean it. This salad made quite the impression on me.
This recipe is loosely based off of a dish that was served at a restaurant I worked at when I lived in London. After just a few brief months they took it off the menu for good and I have been dreaming of it ever since.
This is a miss mash of middle eastern and North African flavors that beautifully unite to create this delicious dish.
Now that squash season is upon us, it was easy to find a gorgeous delicata to toss together with some olive oil and za’atar. If you don’t know what za’atar is, its a Lebanese spice mix typically found enveloped on a flatbread used for dipping into all those iconic Lebanese dips. It has oregano, lemon, sesame seeds and thyme that really helps to kick this dish up a notch. Its also extremely easy to find and in virtually any seasoning aisle of most grocery stores.
While on the topic of bold flavors I knew I wanted the vinaigrette to be out of this world. I chose to incorporate harissa which is a North African chili paste that is so floral and aromatic. Another trick I used to enhance flavor was cooking the quinoa in broth instead of water. It just gives the quinoa a little bit more flavor than what it normally would have.
This salad truly is one of a kind and unmatched in terms of flavor. On top of it being delicious it is super easy and doesn’t take a lot of prep work just assemble and eat.
Roasted Delicata and Kale Salad
Time: 1 Hour
- 1 Delicata Squash
- 3 Cups Kale, Washed and Chopped
- 1 Cup Quinoa
- 2 Cups Chicken or Vegetable Broth
- 2 Tbsp Harissa
- 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
- 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1/4 Cup Pine Nuts
- 1 Cup Greek Yogurt or Labneh
- 2 Tbsp Za’atar
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 1/2 Tsp Pepper
Start by pre-heating the oven to 425 degrees.
Next, start by bringing 1 cup of quinoa and 2 cups of chicken or vegetable broth to a boil then covering and reducing the heat to a simmer for 15 mins or until the quinoa has absorbed all the liquid and become fluffy. Then set aside to cool.
For the delicata, cut it lengthwise then scoop out the seeds and discard. Delicata has such a delicate skin allowing you to eat it so leave the skin on and cut into 1/2 inch ‘half moon’ looking slices. Then toss the squash slices with the 2 tbsp of olive oil and 2 tbsp of the za’atar seasoning. Arrange all the slices on a baking sheet and put into the oven for 20 mins then take out flip the slices onto the other side and put back in the oven for another 20 mins. Once done take out and cool while assembling the rest of the salad.
Lightly toast the pine nuts in a frying pan over low heat and set aside once golden brown.
Take 3 cups of kale and wash, de-stem, and chop it putting it all in one big bowl. I like to massage the kale for around a minute with a tiny sprinkling of salt just to make it more tender.
In a small bowl mix the harissa, lemon juice, remaining 3 tbsp of olive oil, and salt & peeper. Mix all ingredients until incorporated and pour over the kale. Next add the quinoa and toss everything together.
On two dishes put a 1/2 cup of the yogurt and spread around to encompass the bottom of the dish. Next heap the salad on top of the yogurt diving it into two portions. Top each salad with as many squash slices as desired (you may have some left over depending on the size of the squash). Top everything with the toasted pine nuts and enjoy!
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! 🙂