Raw Collard Green Salad with Roasted Delicata Squash, Almonds, & Parmesan

Last week, my friend Deb sent me a recipe for a kale salad she had made for Rosh Hashanah. Everyone, she wrote, raved.

I made it promptly and was reminded:

Roasted garlic = complete goodness.
Delicata squash = so pretty, so tasty, so low maintenance.

In some ways, it’s no surprise the salad was so delicious: it’s got toasted almonds, shaved parmesan, and golden raisins, that dried fruit-nut-and-cheese trifecta that wins every time.

Plus: there’s thinly shaved kale and roasted delicata squash. As Ina says: How bad can that be?

But what was surprising was the dressing, a mix of vinegar and fresh lemon juice, honey, olive oil, and a whole head of smashed roasted garlic cloves. It’s equal parts acid to fat, which means it’s very sharp, which is partly why, I think, it works so well here.

A few days after making it, I found myself craving it again, but didn’t have an hour to roast a head of garlic, so I didn’t — rebel! — and guess what? It was still delicious. Without the roasted garlic, this salad comes together in just about 30 minutes, and thanks to the squash mostly but also the nuts, dried fruit, and cheese, it feels very substantial.

We’ve been treating it as the main course with — you guessed it! — a nice hunk of bread on the side.

Ready for a plot twist?

I first made the salad with kale, but I’ve since been using thinly shaved collard greens and a technique I learned from Ronna Welsh’s The Nimble Cook. Instead of massaging the greens, Ronna has you toss the thinly shaved leaves with a little bit of salt AND sugar, then let them stand for 15 minutes before tossing with the dressing.


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