I love how all the textures in this Mexican-inspired kale salad come together; the crunch of the croutons and pumpkin seeds contrast with the creamy roasted butternut squash, avocado and queso fresco.
In a small mixing bowl whisk together the olive oil, lime zest, lime juice, agave, garlic. Season with salt and pepper then set the dressing aside until ready to use.
Heat the oven to 325°F (170ºC). Slice a baguette into ½-inch slices. Cut the slices into ½-inch cubes. Add to a large bowl and toss with olive oil, garlic, cilantro and chili powder. Make sure all of the pieces are lightly coated. Add more of the oil if needed. Season with salt.
Spread the croutons in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until the croutons are crisp and golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool.
Toss ¼ cup of the dressing with the kale. Massage the dressing into the kale using your hands. Add more dressing if desired.
Add the butternut squash, avocado, queso fresco, pumpkin seeds, radish and croutons. Toss to combine then serve.
The salad can easily be prepped in advance. Either prep all ingredients and dressing as components and set aside for easy mixing or massage the dressing into the kale in advance and add toppings just before serving. Because kale is a tough green it holds the dressing well without wilting.
Heat oven to 400ºF (200ºC). Toss the butternut squash in 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread in an even single layer on a baking sheet and roast until tender, about 20 minutes. The squash can easily be roasted in advance and reheated for easy assembly.
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