Many Thanksgiving feasts treat the salad as an afterthought, dishing out a gigantic bowl of lettuce as a formality to balance out the butter-bombs that fill most plates. This kale salad is loaded with Thanksgiving favorites -- pumpkin seeds, roasted squash, and sugary maple syrup among them -- plus a little spice and pomegranate seeds.
That sounds like something that you'd have to hit a bunch of stores and fruit stands to pull off. But each and every ingredient here can be scored at Trader Joe's, including pre-cut butternut squash and packaged pomegranate seeds, which saves a ton of hassle. Don't worry. You can tell everyone you bought them from stores all over town, not just from some dude in a Hawaiian shirt.
Kale Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash, Pomegranate, and Pumpkin Seeds
- 1 box TJ's pre-cut butternut squash
- 2 teaspoons olive oil + ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ cup TJ's pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (from 1 large, juicy-ass lemon)
- 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- 1 bag TJ's pre-cut kale, large stems removed
- ½ cup TJ's pomegranate seeds
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Heat oven to 425°F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss squash (you'll want to cut larger chunks into smaller cubes) with 2 teaspoons olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Roast, stirring squash occasionally after the first 15 minutes until it's golden and tender. Remove squash from oven and set aside to cool.
- While that squash is cooking, whisk together the lemon juice, maple syrup, mustard, shallot, 1 teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and the cayenne, then whisk oil into it slowly (like, pour it slowly… whisk fast). Boom. Dressing.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine kale with about ¾ of the dressing and use your hands to massage it into the kale, shiatsu-style. Add more dressing as needed. Reserve any leftover dressing for another use/to drink the next day when you're really craving that flavor but too lazy to make another salad.
- Add the cooled roasted squash (not while it's steaming!) and pomegranate seeds to bowl. Toss it all together to combine, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl, and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.
Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email, and get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.