Curried Squash Salad With Quinoa and Crispy Kale 8.000

Jennifer Chase for The Washington Post

Nov 16, 2016

Squash and crunchy kale channel the season in this Indian-influenced salad. Red quinoa gives this salad a hearty chew; for something lighter, use white quinoa.

You’ll need a large, flat-bottomed serving dish.

Make Ahead: The quinoa can be cooked a day or two in advance and refrigerated. The quinoa’s vegetable mixture should be folded in just before serving. The pecans can be buttered up to 2 days in advance; drain off excess butter and store at room temperature in an airtight container. The dressing can be made and refrigerated up to several hours in advance. The baked kale can be re-crisped in a 300-degree oven for a few minutes shortly before serving.

8 - 10

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 8-10 servings

  • For the quinoa
  • 5 cups cooked red quinoa (from 2 cups dried; see headnote)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 small carrot, scrubbed well and diced
  • One 2-inch piece peeled fresh ginger root, grated
  • Finely grated zest of 1 grapefruit
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • For the squash
  • 1 medium kabocha or acorn squash (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
  • Seeds from 2 green cardamom pods
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • For the kale
  • 1 bunch lacinato (Tuscan) kale (1 pound), stemmed
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • For the pecans
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 cup raw, unsalted pecan halves
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • For the dressing
  • 12 ounces (1 1/2 cups) mascarpone
  • 1/4 cup red miso
  • 1/4 cup water


For the quinoa: Place the quinoa in a large mixing bowl.

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, stir in the onion, carrot and all but 1 teaspoon of the ginger; cook for about 4 minutes or just until the onion has softened slightly but the carrot is still firm. Stir in the citrus zests.

If serving right away, fold the vegetable mixture into the quinoa, then spread the mixture on the bottom of the serving dish. Otherwise, cool the vegetable mixture and store it separately from the quinoa.

For the squash: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Cut the (unpeeled) squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and fibrous bits. Cut the squash into 3/4-inch pieces.

Combine the cardamom seeds, coriander, turmeric, cumin, brown sugar and the remaining teaspoon of grated ginger in a mixing bowl. Whisk in the oil and vinegar until the brown sugar dissolves. Add the squash and toss until evenly coated. Use tongs to transfer the squash pieces to the baking sheet, spacing them well apart; discard any leftover oil-and-vinegar mixture. Roast for about 30 minutes or until lightly caramelized.

If serving right away, arrange the squash pieces atop the quinoa mixture; otherwise, cool, cover and refrigerate. You’ll be using the baking sheet again, as is.

For the kale: Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees.

Rinse the kale and pat dry with paper towels. Cut into bite-size pieces and spread them on the baking sheet, then drizzle with the oil and toss to coat. Separate the leaves on the sheet so they’ll crisp evenly. Bake for 5 minutes, then use tongs to turn the kale over. Bake for 5 minutes or until crisped. Let the leaves cool.

For the pecans: Melt the butter in a small, ovenproof saute pan over medium-low heat, taking care to let it just turn brown but not burn.

Meanwhile, remove the rosemary and thyme leaves from the sprigs, pressing their leaves slightly between your fingers to release their oils. Add to the brown butter and cook for 30 seconds, then add the pecans and salt. Turn off the heat; toss the pecans to coat evenly.

For the dressing: Whisk together the mascarpone and red miso in a bowl. Add the water and whisk until well incorporated.

When ready to serve, layer the crisped kale on top of the squash. Top with the buttered pecans, then drizzle with the miso-mascarpone dressing.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from Jesse Miller of Cafe Saint-Ex in the District.

Tested by Lavanya Ramanathan.

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