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Kale and Wild Rice Salad with Maple Roasted Squash

Massaged kale with roasted winter squash and wild rice is paired with maple dijon dressing, walnuts, pomegranate, onion and parsley to create a delicious, fall or winter, main dish salad. gluten free and easily vegan
Course American
Cuisine Dinner, side
Keyword Kale Salad, Roasted Squash
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 337kcal
Author Vanilla And Bean


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 Squash or Sweet Dumpling Squash or Delicata
  • 1 Tbs Coconut Oil melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 2 Tbs Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbs Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 bunch Russian Red Kale about 8 stems
  • 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:


  • 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.


Calories: 337kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 181mg | Potassium: 513mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 1733IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 108mg | Iron: 1mg