Much as I love mince pies, gingerbread, candy canes, yule log, mulled wine and all the other treats associated with Christmas, overindulgence often leaves me craving something really light and fresh and healthy. This salad is my favourite at the moment, as it has lots of flavour but goes some way to shaking off the sugar coma. I think it would make a nice side dish on the Christmas dinner table, too, as it’s full of seasonal ingredients and flavours that compliment the traditional feast.
For the salad:
- 100g curly kale, stalks cut off, massaged
- 50g dried cranberries
- 150g soft goats’ cheese, finely chopped or crumbled
- 50g pecans, roughly chopped
- 50g pumpkin seeds
- 500g butternut squash or sweet potato
- one bunch of spring onions, thinly sliced
For the dressing:
- juice of 1 orange
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Peel and chop the butternut squash, cutting it into small chunks. Lay out on a greased baking sheet, drizzle with 1tbsp olive oil and roast for 25-30 minutes, or until cooked.
- On a separate baking sheet, lay out the pecans and pumpkin seeds, and roast for 5-7 minutes at the same temperature, until toasted and fragrant but not burnt.
- Wash and dry the kale, then cut out and discard the stalks so you only have the leaves. Massage them gently to bring out the flavour and make them softer — sounds weird, I know, but it does make a difference!
- In a large serving bowl, toss all the ingredients together. For the dressing, simply mix together all the ingredients and serve alongside the salad.