Are you up for a filling salad that easily stands in as a main course to kick start your new year? I’ve got you covered. Kale is massaged in a dijon maple vinaigrette to tenderize the leaves.
Then the slow roasted squash is added to the kale along with wild rice, pomegranate arils, purple onion, optional pecorino and toasty walnuts. It is filling, nutritious and satisfying.
I’m not one to make new year’s resolutions. Instead, I tend to set new goals and reflect on the previous year considering accomplishments and things I wanted to accomplish, yet for one reason or another, didn’t.
One accomplishment I feel good about in 2014 is having started Vanilla And Bean.
It’s not something I take lightly simply because I’d been thinking about it for several years prior to deciding on a name, hiring a logo designer, choosing my theme, changing my theme and thinking about my content with a million wonderings in between. At several points prior to starting this blog, I suffered from, as my Ma would say, analysis paralysis. Luckily I’ve moved beyond that.
And I’m so happy to have taken the leap. My cooking has improved, I’ve worked with unfamiliar ingredients and best of all, I’ve met some fabulous people along the way!
I’m constantly reminded of how the Internet connects people in ways I never imagined!
There are so many places I want to take Vanilla And Bean, so much to share with you.
Now that I’ve learned how to manage most of the technical aspects of running a blog, social media and figuring out what ISO and aperture is, I’m feeling good about moving into 2015 confident and focusing more on content rather than the techy stuff (oh this is a been a learning curve).
So with the start of the new year, I need your help. I want to know what you would like to see from Vanilla And Bean in 2015; more of, less of. How can I help? What has been helpful to you?
Please leave me a comment below or if you’d rather email me, please do so here or at traci(at)vanillaandbean(dot)com. I value your opinion and look forward to hearing from you!
Thank you for reading, following, for your encouragement and enthusiasm about good food! I’m so grateful we’re sharing this journey together. Wishing y’all a delicious and abundant 2015!
Kale and Wild Rice Salad with Maple Roasted Squash
For the Salad:
- 1/2 C Whole Walnuts
- 3/4 C Long Grain Wild Rice
- 2 C Water
- 1/4 tsp Pink Sea Salt
- 1 lb Carnival Sweet Dumpling Squash or Delicata (I used Carnival about 1 1/4 )
- 1 Tbs Coconut Oil melted and cooled to room temperature
- 2 Tbs Brown Sugar
- 1 Tbs Maple Syrup
- 1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 1 oz Bunch Russian Red Kale about 8
- 1/2 C Purple Onion thinly sliced into 1/2 moons (about 1/2 a purple onion)
- 3/4 C Pomegranate Arils
- 1/4 C Parsley chopped
- 1/4 C Pecorino optional
For the Dressing:
- 1/4 C Extra Virgin Olive Oil I use CA Olive Ranch
- 2 tsp Dijon Mustard
- 1 Tbs Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Tbs Maple Syrup
- Pinch of Salt
Preheat oven to 400F.
While the oven is preheating, place the walnuts in a shallow baking dish and toast for about 10 minutes, or until the nuts are toasty and fragrant. Cool, rough chop and set aside.
Bring the water and salt to a boil. Drop in the wild rice, stir, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for about 50-55 minutes until rice is tender. Remove from heat and let stand, covered for 10 minutes. Remove lid and place in fridge.
While the rice is cooking, trim ends of squash using a large chef knife. Cut lengthwise in 1/2 and remove and discard seeds. The skin stays on for this squash as it tenderizes as it cooks (it has a nice texture). Cut squash into 1/2 moon shapes at about 1/4"-1/2" thickness (be consistent in how thick you cut so that they roast up evenly). Use a spoon to smooth the scooped out edges. Dice the remaining pieces that are not 1/2 moon shapes into cubes about the same thickness as the moon shapes. Place in a bowl and sprinkle the coconut oil, brown sugar, maple syrup and ground nutmeg over the squash. Toss with hands. Place on a parchment or silpat lined sheet pan making sure each piece is flat and roast in oven for about 25 minutes turning squash about 1/2 way through cooking. Roast until slightly caramelized. Remove from oven and cool.
Destem the kale. Ribbon the leaves and then cut into 1"-2" pieces. (This is the point where I wash the kale in a salad spinner). Place in a large bowl.
Make the dressing: In a small bowl, add the olive oil, mustard, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and pinch of salt. Whisk well until an emulsion is formed.
Pour 3 Tbs of dressing over the kale. Set a timer for two minutes and using your hands, massage the dressing into the kale. Kale is tough, so don't worry about bruising the kale, just go for it! The leaves will be nice and tender after massaging.
Toss the kale with the cooled wild rice, walnuts, onion, pomegranate arils, parsley and optional pecorino then lay the cooled squash over the top of the salads. Pour the remaining dressing over salad or to taste.
Serve cold with a few grinds of pepper.
This salad holds up well in the fridge for a few days. If serving the day after it's made, keep the squash in a separate covered container and assemble when ready to serve.
If you make this recipe, or any others on Vanilla And Bean, be sure to post it to Instagram, notify me @vanillaandbean and tag #vanillaandbean! I’d love to see what you’ve made! Also, if you like my content, please consider sharing it with three friends and/or family and follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and/or Twitter. Thank you!