Thanksgiving kale salad with roasted root vegetables

Yes, even on Thanksgiving, I serve kale to family and friends. This salad is a vibrant and robust taste of fall: full of hearty, seasonal root vegetables, a hint of maple syrup, and the crunch of pumpkin seeds. You'll "eat the rainbow" when you eat this salad, which is hearty enough to make a meal for your vegetarian guests, served with a side of quinoa or farro.

Kale is an excellent source of fiber, vitamin K, calcium, potassium, iron, folate and many other nutrients, all at 36 calories per cup! It can be enjoyed raw or cooked.

If you happen to be located in the San Francisco Bay Area and want to learn to cook more recipes like this one, I’ll be teaching a series of hands-on cooking classes starting January 2017 in the new Thrive Kitchen at Kaiser Permanente Mission Bay Medical Offices in San Francisco. Register by calling the Health Education Department at (415) 833-3450.

Servings: 12

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds assorted root vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, delicata squash and parsnips (approximately 1 delicata, 1 parsnip and 2 small sweet potatoes)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 bunch green curly kale, center rib removed
  • Dressing:
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Garnish:

  • 1/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds), ideally freshly toasted
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate arils (the edible, red “seeds”)
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced red onion

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 400 F. 
  2. Prepare 2 baking sheets by lining with parchment paper. Peel root vegetables, as desired (no need to peel the delicata), and then cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick slices. Toss with olive oil and salt in a bowl, then transfer in a single layer with some space between the vegetables on the baking sheets. 
  3. Cook until tender, about 20 minutes, flipping over halfway between. When vegetables are light brown around the edges and you're able to pierce them easily with a fork, remove from oven and allow to cool. 
  4. Thinly slice or tear kale into bite-sized pieces and place in salad bowl. Massage kale with your hands for about a minute, until it has softened and appears glossy and darker green. 
  5. Prepare the dressing by combining all dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisking, or by pouring into a jar, tightly closing the lid, and shaking until combined. Pour dressing onto prepared kale and toss to cover.
  6. Toast pepitas by placing in a single layer in a small, dry frying pan (without oil) and heating over low-medium heat, shaking often, until pepitas puff up a bit and change from green to tan in color. This will take 30 to 60 seconds. Allow to cool.
  7. When vegetables have cooled, arrange them atop the kale salad. Scatter pepitas, pomegranate arils and red onion.

Nutrition Information (per serving)

  • Calories: 137
  • Carbohydrate: 16 g
  • Total fat: 6 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Sodium: 38 mg
  • Sugar: 4 g

Contributor

Linda Shiue, MD