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Autumn is full of lovely hearty dishes, but what is often forgotten about is a good seasonal salad! Every year we find ourselves making this autumn kale salad. It’s light, it’s easy, and it captures all of the fall flavors in one bowl. Be sure to check out our suggested fall pairing at the bottom!

how to make autumn kale salad


  • 1 butternut squash, roasted
  • ½ t salt
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • olive oil, to drizzle
  • 4 – 5 C kale, chopped and massaged
  • 1/3 C pomegranate seeds
  • 3 T pumpkin seeds, roasted
  • shaved parmesan cheese, for topping

vinaigrette :

  • ¼ C olive oil
  • 2 T red wine vinegar 
  • 2 t maple syrup
  • 1 large clove of garlic, microplaned
  • half a lemon, juiced
  • salt & pepper, to taste 
autumn kale salad


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. While the oven is preheating, use a knife or a peeler to remove the skin from the butternut squash. Cut the squash into half slices. Season slices in a bowl with olive oil, salt, and cinnamon. Arrange seasoned slices on a baking sheet and roast each side for 20 – 25 minutes. 

Fill a large salad bowl with kale and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds, pumpkin seeds, and shaved parmesan cheese. Mix all of the ingredients together and drizzle with dressing. Buon Appetito!


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Massaging kale is a common technique used in preparing kale salads. The purpose of massaging kale is to make it more tender and less tough to eat. Kale leaves can be quite fibrous and rigid, which can make them somewhat challenging to chew and digest when raw. Massaging the kale helps to break down some of the cellulose structure in the leaves, making them softer and more palatable. Pro tip, message the kale with a drizzle of premium olive oil to help tenderize the leafy green.

Here’s why massaging kale is done :

  1. Texture: Massaging kale helps to soften the leaves, making them less tough and more enjoyable to eat in a salad.
  2. Flavor: Massaging kale with a small amount of olive oil and salt can also improve its flavor, as it helps to distribute the seasonings more evenly.
  3. Digestibility: Massaged kale is easier to digest, as the mechanical action of massaging can break down some of the tougher cell walls.
  4. Reducing bitterness: Massaging can help reduce the bitterness of kale, making it more appealing to many people.

Overall, massaging kale is a simple yet effective technique to enhance the taste and texture of raw kale in this autumn kale salad, making it a more enjoyable and nutritious addition to your meals.

suggested pairing for autumn kale salad

For an autumn kale salad, there are multiple flavorful pairings. But if you want to keep the fall theme going, you can always go with an apple cider mezcal margarita or even pumpkin pasta for a complete fall meal!

autumn kale salad


Hi there, 
We are Elise and Evan and we're so glad you are here! Cheffing up tasty bites and sips is our love language and we are very happy to share these recipes with you. We both have valuable restaurant experience and have learned a thing or two about making tasty bites and sips. Through Carnelian Cooks we are sharing all of our tips and tricks! Please provide a comment or feedback below on any recipes that you give a try. 

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