I'm a huge fan of roasted squash: I love it cubed and roasted until crisp on the outside. It's great eaten hot out of the oven, or cooled with salad. My very favourite is butternut squash; I had it in my mind to make a nice kale salad topped with butternut squash and chickpeas, but when I got to the grocery store they were ALL OUT OF BUTTERNUT SQUASH.
Cue sad trombone.
I was having one of those days in which the lack of butternut squash was the straw that broke my figurative back. I asked the fellow working in the produce department if there were any in the back, and there weren't. I stood sadly staring at the butternut squash-less squash display for so long that another shopper asked if I was all right. I snapped back to reality and realized that I had to work on being more flexible in my mind, more of a roll-with-the-punches kind of girl.
I wondered if I could make the salad with acorn squash, of which there was a plethora.
I had only ever eaten acorn squash roasted in its own skin, scooped out and mashed with maple syrup and cinnamon, and while that's a fine way to eat it, it wasn't anything near what I was craving. I wondered if I could peel, cube, and roast it like I would a butternut squash.
I have to tell you, peeling an acorn squash is not that bad, even with all the ridges. To me, it's actually easier than peeling a butternut squash, which tends to result in me breaking a vegetable peeler and/ or coming dangerously close to severing my fingers.
Roasted acorn squash is nuttier in taste than butternut, it's not as sweet but very tasty in its own way. It went perfectly with this kale salad, and it makes for a filling, hearty dish.
Wash and dry squash. Using a large kitchen knife, slice the acorn squash lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds.
Slice each half into quarters; in half lengthwise and then widthwise.
Using a sharp knife cut the skin off, using a smaller knife to get in the ridges.
Cut the pieces into 1-inch cubes, place in a large bowl, and toss with olive oil to coat. 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil should do the trick.
Arrange pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet, sprinkle with sea salt and cracked black pepper, and roast in a 425 degree oven for 30-40 minutes, or until crispy on the outside.
Serve as-is, or allow to cool and try with this tasty kale salad.
Whisk together the dressing ingredients.
Pour over kale pieces, massaging with your hands to ensure even coverage.
Add acorn squash and toss with the kale to coat.
To turn this from a side dish into a main course, add crispy pan-fried chickpeas.
Want more like this? Try my Energy Triple Threat: Roasted Squash, Kale, and Quinoa Salad, my Roasted Squash and Chickpea Curry, or my Good Health Bowl: Brown Rice With Roasted Squash and Chickpeas.