While the health benefits of kale are widely known (high in fibre, iron, Vitamin A/C/K, antioxidants amongst etc.), I learned recently from my sister Arabella, who is a nutritionist, that it’s best not to eat kale raw. After some experimentation, I believe kale is best when baked.
Kale is in season from summer through to winter which is great. I like eating it with pumpkin here for a lovely autumnal feel – the pumpkin’s hearty earthy sweetness is perfect with the sharp taste of the kale. The pumpkin is lovely and soft and sticky, whilst the kale is crisp and light.
I like to bake the pumpkin with the skin on, especially if it’s a variety like Kabocha or Delicata squash, whose skin is perfectly tender and edible after roasting.
The parmesan cheese can be omitted if a dairy free option is prefered.
- 1 small pumpkin
- 1 bunch of curly or lacinato kale (remove thickest stems)
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts or almonds
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- Pinch cayenne pepper (or hot paprika)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Sea salt
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese (shaved)
Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Slice the pumpkin / squash into large pieces, removing the seeds. Drizzle olive oil over the garlic cloves, kale and pumpkin/squash in a large bowl, mix to coat everything. Wrap the cloves in foil, and spread the pumpkin out on a lined baking tray. Spread the kale out on a separate tray.
Roast the kale for about 10 minutes, until leaves are tender, crisp on edges and slightly browned. Roast the pumpkin/squash and garlic for about 50 minutes total (40 minutes more than kale), flipping halfway through until they are starting to brown and are completely cooked through. Set both aside to cool.
Chop the nuts and toast them lightly in the oven (2 minutes should do it! – watch them closely though)
In a small bowl, squeeze out the soft garlic from the cloves (discard the garlic skin) and combine with 4 tablespoons olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt, black pepper, and the cayenne.
In a large bowl, combine the kale, pumpkin, raisins, nuts, and dressing. Toss to coat everything. Serve the salad at room temperature and top with shaved parmesan.