Kale Pumpkin Salad with Feta and Pesto Dressing: Easy-to-make, fast, healthy and delicious salad packed with fall flavors. Perfect seasonal salad!
I keep incorporating pumpkin into as many of my recipes as possible (remember pumpkin leek soup, pumpkin waffles, roasted butternut squash and quinotto with pumpkin?) because I love pumpkin and I love to eat seasonal. That is also the reason why I bought a kilogram of fresh kale last week. Finally, the kale season has started! I was waiting for it for so long, thinking about all the food I can make with it.
You might already have heard that kale is a superfood and everybody should eat kale. Now it’s the best time for it! Raw kale is one of the healthiest vegetables, it is the richest source of vitamin K and contains insane amounts of other vitamins (A, E, C, B1, B2, B3 and B6 ), minerals (manganese, calcium, iron, magnesium and copper), fiber, protein, omega-3 fats and antioxidants.
Kale has anti-inflammatory, cancer-preventive, cholesterol-lowering and detoxification benefits. It provides more nutritional value for fewer calories than any other food! Those are good reasons to include kale in your diet right now.
In Germany you mostly eat processed kale as a stew together with sausages and speck. You can check the recipe on Food Republic: Grünkohl. I was going for something lighter and healthier, so I made a kale pumpkin salad with feta and pesto dressing. It turned out to be a hit! I made it for a weekend picnic and it was insanely delicious, not mentioning healthy, well-balanced and super easy to make!
The best thing about this salad is that all the flavors and textures complete each other to perfection. It has salty, sweet, bitter, sour, umami and spicy ingredients. It has crunchy, chewy and creamy components. It has just the right temperature for the season, as pumpkin is roasted and served warm.
It looks gorgeous and it smells great. I can’t stop thinking of how amazingly seasonal this kale salad is. It’s very close to being (if not is!) a perfect autumn salad. I know it’s nice to have a bowl of soup when it’s cold and rainy outside but what can you take with you for a river-view picnic on a sunny autumn day, after you are warmed up from a long bike tour? The answer is obvious, if it’s autumn and you want a salad, make a kale pumpkin salad! Here is the recipe you can make in less then 30 minutes!
How to Make Kale Pumpkin Salad
Kale Pumpkin Salad with Feta and Pesto Dressing
- 1/2 medium-sized Hokkaido pumpkin Red kuri squash
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- black pepper
- 1 bundle curly-leaf kale
- 100 grams or 3.5 oz Greek feta cheese
- 20 dried black olives
- 3 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
For the pesto dressing:
- 1 clove garlic
- 70 grams or 1 cup kale leaves chopped
- 20 grams or 1/6 cup pumpkin seeds
- 25 grams or 1/8 cup grated parmesan or any other hard cheese for vegetarians
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin oil
- 5-6 tablespoons olive oil
- black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180 ºC or 350 ºF. Remove seeds from pumpkin and dice one half with a sharp knife. Put the pumpkin dices in a baking dish, sprinkle with olive oil, salt and black pepper and roast for 20-25 minutes. It should not be too soft.
- Meanwhile, wash and dry kale leaves with a kitchen towel. Remove the ribs with kitchen scissors as shown here. Roughly chop kale and transfer to a bowl. Sprinkle with 1-2 pinches of salt. Knead kale for a minute until it's soft and dark.
- Dice Greek feta cheese in small cubes and add to the bowl together with black olives (remove stones if necessary).
- Make the pesto dressing: combine roughly chopped garlic, chopped kale leaves, pumpkin seeds, grated parmesan, pumpkin oil, olive oil, salt and black pepper and blend until smooth with an immersion blender or food processor. Add more oil for the more liquid consistency.
- When the pumpkin is ready, add it to the bowl. Pour the dressing and mix everything well together. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds to serve. Enjoy!
What is your favorite way to eat kale? Raw, roasted, steamed, boiled, dehydrated…? Leave a comment below!
Other Fall-Inspired Salad Recipes You’ll Love: