Kale and Butternut Squash Salad


The first time that kale showed up in my CSA, I was petrified and had no idea what to do with the abundance of curly leafy greens sitting in my kitchen. Ever since then though, I have learned to love kale and all of its applications. While I love kale cooked in dishes like frittata and roasted kale, it’s also great raw, in a salad.

Massaged kale is a great way to eat raw kale. When you massage some kale with a bit of kosher salt, the kale begins to soften and break down pretty quickly. It only takes a few minutes to knead it to perfection.

As you may already know, I love fall veggies. The abundance of greens and gourds make me so happy. I seem to be roasting up squash weekly. The massaged kale pairs very well with the roasted butternut squash. I thought I’d share with you this fantastic salad.

I began by peeling and cubing my butternut squash. I sprinkled it with olive oil, salt, pepper, cloves of garlic and fresh herbs. I then roasted it at 400 for about 40 minutes.


While the squash roasted, I washed, trimmed and cut up the kale.


I placed the kale in a large mixing bowl and sprinkled some kosher salt over the kale. With my clean hands, I kneaded the kale well. Massaging the kale quickly brought out the water in the kale and broke it down. You will see in the before and after pictures of the kale how much it reduces as you massage it!


I dressed the kale with some chopped shallots, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, ed wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper and that yummy roasted squash.


This salad is so delicious  and keeps well in the fridge for a few days. Hope you enjoy!

Kale and Butternut Squash Salad
Recipe type: Salad
Roasted Butternut Squash
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 1.5 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 5 cloves smashed garlic (optional)
  • 1-2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. ground pepper
Kale Salad
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • additional salt and pepper to taste
  • 2.5 tbsp. pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp. dried cranberries
  • 1 chopped shallot
For the Butternut Squash:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400
  2. Peel and cube the butternut squash
  3. Toss the squash with olive oil and spread over a baking sheet
  4. Sprinkle over the herbs, salt and pepper
  5. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes, checking on the squash and flipping, every 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven once it's browned, but but not overdone. Cool.
For the Kale and Salad:
  1. Wash and trim the kale. Cut away the tough stems.
  2. Chop up the kale and place in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Sprinkle some kosher salt over the kale
  4. With you clean hands, knead the salt in to the kale. Knead for about 3-5 minutes. You will see the kale reduce and soften. The moisture will seep out of the kale.
  5. Toss the kale with the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.
  6. Mix in the rest of the salad ingredients, along with the butternut squash.
  7. Enjoy!


About Hindy Garfinkel


  1. love this salad! ive made something similar with pears instead of squash

  2. Alison @ Alibabka says

    Such a healthy and flavorful salad. love the before and after pic.

  3. You have to massage the kale, makes all the difference. I will for sure make this recipe.

  4. after you message the kale do you rinse off the kosher salt or leave it as is?

    • You leave as is. It’s just a couple teaspoons. It gets broken down as you work it in to the kale.

      • I made the salad this Shabbos. It looked beautiful but it was way too salty. Everyone picked out the kale. Next time I think I will either rinse off the salt or massage without salt. The roasted squash was definitely a bit hit. I don’t generally add lots of salt to anything; I use just enough salt to bring out the flavor but not to taste the salt.

        • Sorry you had that experience. Everyone who ate this salad loved it. Maybe your bunch of kale was much smaller? I definitely did not taste the salt in the salad.

        • Same issue on my side… way too salty. Ended up pulling the kale out of the salad and made it into chips! Curious to know how many stalks of kale make it right. I used 10.

  5. mayihavethatrecipe says

    I never heard of massaging the kale, but I really like the idea, I will try it next time I buy kale. Love this salad, so healthy and fresh .

  6. Delicious – I use kale but never massaged. I’ve done this with cabbage.

  7. Just found your site and this recipe looks super, esp. as I’ve just started using kale for salads, and love it. Our market carries a Zen mix of kale, spinach and other greens. Your photo of squash looks like your included garlic – but that’s not listed in the recipe. Am I seeing things?

  8. The only time I tried raw kale it tasted bitter. I’ll be using your technique next time. I have never heard of massaging the leaves with salt before.

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