Here's a delicious way to get more veggies on the table and change up your usual salad: a kale salad with roast beets and cauliflower florets, chopped fennel and crunchy toasted pumpkin seeds. Add a little feta cheese if you like dairy (or avocado) and finish with a tangy vinaigrette. Definitely a big dose of veggies, plus it's packed with color, taste, texture and healthy nutrition.
Kale Salad with Roasted Vegetables
Kale salad with roasted vegetables has multiple elements but they can all be done ahead of time. For a heartier main dish salad, add roasted or rotisserie chicken. Use leftovers from another meal or buy an already cooked bird at the store to save time.
How To Prep Kale for Kale Salad
Skip the bagged kale and buy fresh leafy bundles. The bagged version might be convenient but it still has the tough center rib. Invest a few minutes and chop your own. The salad will be better. I buy Lacinato kale, also called Dinosaur or Tuscan kale. It has big dark green flat leaves (versus curly) and comes in bundles. Be sure to buy organic kale.
To stem the kale, hold the bottom of the stem in one hand, clasp your other hand around the leaf at the bottom and run your clasped hand up the stem. The leafy part should separate easily. If not, cut out any stubborn ribs with a knife. Pile kale le
aves together and chop crosswise into thin ribbons.
The Rest of the Veggies and Pumpkin Seeds
- Roasting beets – Do this at first (or ahead). Read this post on how to roast beets. It’s easy. Cut off tops, wrap in heavy foil, drizzle with oil. Roast at 400°F until tender. Rub off skin. Dice.
- Short cut - buy pre-cooked beets at the store. Look in the refrigerated produce case.
- Slicing fennel – Use a mandoline or inexpensive handheld slicer to shave or thinly slice fennel. Cut the tops off, cut out the triangular core, then starting at the bottom of the bulb, slice. Save the fluffy fronds for garnish.
- Roasting cauliflower – Core the head and break off large florets. Cut florets crosswise into wedges about ½″ thick. Place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment or foil. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and granulated garlic. Roast at 400° for approximately 15-18 minutes, until golden with browned edges. Then try not to eat it all before you make the salad. Make extra!
- Toasting pumpkin seeds – Scatter ½ cup seeds on a rimmed baking sheet at bake at 350° for 15-18 minutes until you can smell them. Shake the pan half way through. Be careful they don’t burn. You can also toast them on the stove top in a pan over low heat.
For another terrific entree style salad try my Chinese Chicken Salad with Ginger Vinaigrette.
For histamine intolerance, skip the feta. Some people do fine with goat cheese or eliminate any dairy. The vinaigrette will depend on your level of sensitivity. Organic white distilled vinegar is the safest. When I was flaring badly I found white vinegar worked for me, as did very small amounts of ACV and a few others. Do what works best for you and keeps you safe.
Kale Salad with Roasted Vegetables
- 2-3 tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds pepitas
- 1 head cauliflower or use bagged florets as a shortcut
- 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 large bundle of Lacinato (Tuscan) kale
- 1 small fennel bulb
- 2 medium roasted beets store bought or homemade
- 4-6 ounces feta cheese optional
My Basic Vinaigrette
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider or red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard optional
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Pre-heat oven to 350° (177 C). Scatter pumpkin seeds on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for approximately 15 minutes, until you can smell them and they are lightly browned. Watch so they do not burn. While they are toasting, work on your vegetables.
- Turn oven up to 400° after the pumpkin seeds are done (or start a second oven at the same time). Cut the core from cauliflower head. Break off florets and cut them into ½″ thick wedges. Place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment or foil. Drizzle olive oil over florets and sprinkle with garlic, salt, and pepper. Roast cauliflower until golden brown at the edges, about 18-20 minutes.
- For kale, strip out center stem with hands or trim out with a knife. Slice leaves crosswise into thin ribbons.
- Trim top stalks off of fennel. Save some of the fluffy fronds for garnish if desired. Thinly slice fennel bulb with a sharp knife, mandolin, or handheld slicer. Dice the roasted beets. Dice or crumble the feta.
- Whisk together the oil, vinegar and Dijon until emulsified. Sprinkle in salt and pepper to taste. Toss kale greens with a few teaspoons until lightly coated and place on plates or a platter. Add vegetables, pumpkin seeds, and cheese. Add extra vinaigrette over top.