If there is one thing you get in the kitchen and make this month, it should be this Maple Spiced Winter Vegetable and Kale Bowl.
OK, I know that is an un-realistic statement. It’s November after all. And November = Thanksgiving. So I know you will all be making WAY more than one thing this month. But this is just so damn delicious that I want everyone to go and try it out right away. It’s an easy and hearty salad that’s particularly well suited for this time of year. Eating this salad is like getting a big bear hug from a loved one who’s wearing a cozy sweater. Not an itchy wool sweater, but a soft fluffy sweater. It will warm you from the inside out.
You start by lightly coating squash, fennel and potatoes with a spiced maple syrup dressing and then roasting them until they are just softened and sweet. Then you bake up some kale until it’s like a cross between sautéed kale and kale chips (soft and wilted, but with crunchy edges), which becomes the bed for the roasted vegetables. The combination of cayenne, cinnamon, nutmeg and red pepper flakes in this recipe gives off some heat that is perfectly welcome for fall and winter.
My desire to make this recipe initially came from my need to use up the tons of squash, potatoes and kale that I’d been getting from my CSA. What I didn’t realize was what a game changer this salad would end up being. I was floored by how good it was once I tasted it, and I have made it several times since. I don’t repeat meals very often (#foodbloggerproblems), so if I’m telling you I made this recipe three times in two weeks, then you know it must be good!
Recipe adapted from Sprouted Kitchen
Maple Spiced Winter Vegetable and Kale Bowl
- 1 medium delicata squash
- 1 large fennel bulb, fronds trimmed and discarded
- 1 lb new potatoes or fingerlings,
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tsp. whole grain mustard
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 large bunch kale, thick stems removed
- Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Arrange one oven rack in the upper third and one in the lower third of your oven.
- Prepare the vegetables. Slice the delicata squash in half lengthwise. Scrape out and discard the seeds. Cut the squash into 1 inch half moons. Slice the fennel bulb into 1/2 inch slices. Chop the potatoes into 1 1/2 inch chunks. Toss all the vegetables into a large baking pan. Your pan will be very full (the vegetables won’t be in a single layer) and that’s OK.
- In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the extra virgin olive oil and the next eight ingredients, through the red pepper flakes. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss until they are well coated. Transfer the vegetables to the upper third of your pre-heated oven and roast for 35 minutes.
- While the vegetables are roasting, tear the kale leaves into large pieces and rub them with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Spread the kale out onto a second baking sheet or pan. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
- After 35 minutes, transfer the roasting vegetables to the lower third of your oven. Place the prepared kale leaves in the upper third of your oven. Roast for 10 minutes. The edges of the kale should be slightly crisp.
- Remove both the kale and the roasted vegetables from your oven. Transfer the kale to a serving platter or individual bowls and top with the roasted vegetable mixture. Serve warm.
1. No need to peel delicata squash. The skins are thin and edible.
2. Any kind of kale will work in this recipe. I’ve use purple, white and curly kale.