Roasted Butternut Squash, Kale and Cranberry Couscous Salad

On the interwebs there's a lot of complaining about kale. Some people just want it to stop being the go to health food -- I don't know why though, I love kale and I think it pairs really well with heavily dressed salads. The vinaigrette in this salad is awesome and will help to break down the fibrous kale leaves a little, so they're not too chewy.

Recipe from Gimme Some Oven.

-1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
-1 cup dry Israeli (pearl) couscous, cooked in water according to package instructions
-2 cups chopped kale leaves
-1/3 cup dried cranberries 
-1/3 cup chopped walnuts
-2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled 

-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed orange juice
-pinch of salt and black pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, toss cubed butternut squash with olive oil.  Sprinkle with a few generous pinches of salt and pepper, and toss until combined. Spread the butternut squash out on a covered baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, shaking the pan to redistribute the squash halfway through the cook time.

Whisk all ingredients together until combined.  Taste, and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.

Once the butternut squash is roasted, put it back in the large bowl and add couscous, kale, cranberries, walnuts, goat cheese, and vinaigrette, and toss to combine.

This salad was really good. The butternut squash pairs nicely with the craisins, the couscous adds a nice addition to the salad to make it a little more filling. The orange vinaigrette is a nice sweet and tangy and complemented all of the other flavors. This made four large portions and was an excellent lunch. 


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