In this rustic, cold-weather salad, cubes of roasted butternut squash combine with roasted red onion, kale, and toasted pine nuts, in a zesty lemon and tahini dressing. It’s substantial enough to serve as an entrée, with crusty bread and a cup of tomato soup.
For the dressing:
2 tablespoons tahini
Juice of 1 lemon
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
For the salad:
1.5 pounds cooked cubed chicken (to be added at the end)
1 medium butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled, halved, seeded, and cut into 3/4-inch cubes (these are easier to peel and cut if you microwave for a few minutes first)
1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
2 bunches flat kale
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
To make the dressing:
Put the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and a pinch of salt into a small jar with a tightfitting lid. Close the jar and shake vigorously.
Add the extra virgin olive oil and shake again. Thin with a little water, if necessary, to yield a dressing with a pourable consistency. Set aside.
To make the salad:
Heat the oven to 425°F and arrange a rack in the middle. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss together the squash, red onion, a big pinch of salt, and black pepper to taste. Spread into an even layer. Roast, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender and slightly caramelized, about 30 minutes. (If the onions start to get too brown, remove them and set aside.) Set aside to cool completely, about 1 hour.
Strip the kale leaves off the stalks and discard the stalks. Stack the kale leaves and cut into fine strips. Add them to a large, shallow salad bowl.
Sprinkle the kale with a little salt and massage the leaves with your hands just to soften them slightly. Add the cooled squash mixture. Drizzle with some of the dressing, enough to moisten the salad. Toss and taste. Add more dressing, salt, and/or black pepper as needed. Scatter the pine nuts over the salad.
Add cooked chicken and serve.
Serving size 8