This post was originally published here November 9, 2013. I’ve since updated the text and photographs. This is a great vegan and gluten-free dish for the Holidays!
Warm salads can be very hit or miss. There is a fine line between delectable and mushy, especially when there are leafy greens involved. But this warm Maple and Spice Roasted Winter Vegetable Salad has stuck with me throughout the years. So I guess it’s safe to say that it’s definitely NOT mushy. In fact, I’d claim it to be pretty gosh darn close to being perfectly balanced in terms of textures and flavors. It’s a great dish for the Holidays. And it can be served as a main dish (it’s both vegan and gluten-free friendly), or as a side dish. I love that it covers so many bases in just a single dish (potatoes, squash, greens!).
The key to getting the roasted vegetables to come out tender and caramelized, while preventing the kale from turning into green slime, is cooking them on separate baking sheets. So yes, you’ll need two large rimmed baking sheets for this recipe. On one sheet, you’ll roast the potatoes, delicata squash and fennel. And when those ingredients are close to being finished, you’ll pop the second baking sheet with the kale into your oven for the last 10 minutes of cooking time. This is just enough time to make the kale tender, while maintaining some of its characteristic crunch.
The dressing for the roasted vegetables is a heavenly and aromatic combination of maple syrup, whole grain mustard, cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes. So as you might have guessed, it’s got a little bit of heat. But I find this to be a welcome change to the sometimes overly sugary preparations of squash and potatoes that tend to be common this time of year (I’m looking at you sweet potato casserole with marshmallows!). This recipe definitely brings the cozy!
Ideally, this salad should be served immediately after cooking while it’s still warm. But nothing terrible will happen if it sits at room temperature for a bit. No one ever ruined Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner over a salad. And I promise you won’t either!
Maple and Spice Roasted Winter Vegetable Salad
For the Dressing:
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 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
For the Vegetables:
- 1 lb new potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 delicata squash, halved, seeds removed and sliced into half-moons
- 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and sliced
- 1 large bunch curly kale, thick stems removed and leaves torn
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 tablespoons roasted and salted pepitas
- Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.
- In a small bowl, stir together all the ingredients for the dressing. Set aside.
- Add the potatoes, delicata squash and fennel to a large bowl. Scrape in all the dressing and toss until everything is well coated. Dump everything out onto a large rimmed baking sheet. The baking sheet will be very full and the vegetables will overlap some. Transfer the baking sheet to your pre-heated oven and roast for 35 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add the kale to the same large bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil and then use your fingers to massage it into the leaves. Spread the kale out onto a second rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with the salt.
- After 35 minutes, stir the roasting vegetables and return them to your oven. And add the baking sheet with the kale. Roast everything for an additional 10 minutes.
- Remove both baking sheets from your oven. The vegetables should be soft and browned in a few places. The edges of the kale should be slightly crisp.
- Toss the roasted vegetables and kale together and transfer to a serving dish. Top with the pepitas. Enjoy immediately.
Recipe adapted from Sprouted Kitchen.
I could eat meals like this one EVERY day in the fall and winter months. Glad you brought this one back because now it’s a must try for me!
It definitely deserved to come back into the spotlight! 🙂
Gahhhhh, I want this entire bowl in my life now! Loving all that winter veggie goodness and obviously anything squash is a WIN! I spy Monday dinner. 😉
Perfect for meatless Monday!
Maple-spice winter veggies are my favorite, and combining them with all that kale can only make them better! Meal bowls are the best, and I could seriously eat this every day!
I don’t need anything else except a big bowl of these veggies. Well…maybe a cocktail. 🙂
ummm DEAL! This bowl looks incredibly delicious, Liz! I am ALL about maple and veggies right now, so this beauty NEEDS to be on my rotation!! Cheers!
I’m maple crazy lately! I love it year round, but in the Fall and Winter I just can’t seem to get enough!
fantastic twist on a traditional kale salad. love the quick roast of the torn kale. i’m definitely giving this a go!
Let me know how it comes out!
Hey Liz! This dish sounds so good. We always like to eat this type of vegetable at winter season, also love this squash. All the ingredients had good combination. I try this one certainly, thanks.
That’s awesome to hear, Rony!
So glad that you response me, Liz!
I could literally eat this every day! I am a sucker for anything with squash, and then throw in maple syrup and you had me at hello!
Right? They are like my two favorite things!
Yum, this looks totally delish! And I know I’ll be roasting some kale tomorrow. Thank for the inspiration.
Thanks, Aimee! This dish is definitely right up your alley! 🙂
I’m loving the combination of ingredients in this recipe! I’m definitely gonna try making this ?
That’s great to hear!
Love the sweet and spice in this perfect-for-winter-bowl, Liz!!
This looks delicious! Love the winter veggies paired with the maple- so full of nutrition 🙂
Healthy and delicious = the best combo!
What a wonderful flavor and textural combination of salad goodies–way over the top on the bed of those crispy baked kale chips. Yum, yum!
Thanks, Letty! This is certainly a bowl full of goodness!
Maple and mustard is such a fabulous combo Liz! What a delicious, seasonal and festive dish for the holidays! Thank you for resharing this nourishing salad.
This looks super tasty and I’d love to meal prep it for the week. Do you think that it could be meal prepped? Either to re-hear a lunch for work or would it be better to chop/marinade it in advance to put in oven during the week?
You can make the dressing and chop/prep all the vegetables in advance. But I’d wait to roast them until you’re ready to eat!