This warm winter salad of roasted acorn squash, apple cider-braised kale and feta cheese and dried cranberries carries a serious flavor punch and also looks very festive for the holidays!
Every year I think I’ve done a great job of getting ahead on my holiday shopping. I will buy a few things months in advance, jot down a few ideas for various family members, and pat my back for thinking and planning ahead so well. But then, inevitably, December arrives and I have a mini panic that I’ve really hardly done anything at all.
Thanks to Amazon and online shopping, I’ve been able to check off a ton of my people on my list this week and just have some stocking stuffers left for the kids and my husband. OK, I have pretty much everything left to buy for my husband, but I kind-of know what I’m planning to get him. The end is in sight, people.
I’ll try not to think about the holiday cards that are currently in transit and need to be stuffed, addressed, stamped and sent back out as quickly as I can manage. I can feel the hand cramp already that comes from filling those envelopes out. Then again, I’ve already had a few come trickling in and I seriously love getting people’s cards and taping them up on the fridge and various doors and walls to enjoy all season long!
But I digress. We’re here for the food. And this is a lovely little holiday time side dish!
Acorn squash wedges are brushed with butter and maple syrup and roasted to tender, slightly crispy perfection. They they’re laid on top of sautéed kale that’s got a great tart kick from the apple cider vinegar, which pairs well with the sweet dried cranberries and the salty feta cheese. Everybody’s so happy all together here. It’s definitely one of those where you want a little bit of everything in each forkful.
Oh, and don’t freak out when you find your kale has turned a little brown in spots after it cooks. You’ll see it mostly on the bottom of the kale leaves; the ones that are against the bottom of the pan. It’s not burnt or bitter, it’s just been discolored by the acidity in the apple cider vinegar. Nothing to worry about; it tastes delicious! (And you can serve it with those sides down for the pretty presentation.)
I wish you stress-free holiday shopping with no lines, lots of sales and easy-to-find gifts. And, if not, I wish a large cocktail or glass of wine upon arriving home in a harried heap.
Cheers and enjoy!
** Are you done holiday shopping or still going strong? **