Northern Spy Food Company’s Kale Salad Knock-Off

Kale Salad Close up

One of my most favorite salads in the history of eating is the Kale Salad at Northern Spy Food Company in the East Village.  Ever since Erica and Kai introduced us to the salad a couple of years ago one cold Thursday night in December I have been obsessed with it.  So, when NSFC set up on the Highline this past summer (read my Strictly Nutritious guest post about Highline Food) let’s just say that I spent way more time traveling to Chelsea this past summer than I ever had before.  So, since the kale and carnival squash were delivered in our CSA, I figured I could get pretty close to the real thing.  Check out the real version of the recipe here, as shared by Northern Spy Food Company, and below is my version of this amazing any season staple.

Carnival Squash

1 carnival squash (if you are making this during the spring/summer NSFC and I advocate swapping the squash for roasted carrots)
½  tbs grapeseed oil
1 very large bunch kale (I have used all types of kale in this recipe, but I find that dinosaur kale or curly kale is my favorite)
juice of 1 lemon
2 ½ tbs extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup manchego cheese, cubed or grated
½ cup almonds, toasted
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
salt & pepper to taste

Carnival Squash slicesPreheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut, peel, and cube squash into half inch pieces.

Seasoned & Cubed Carnival Squash in baking sheet

Using 1/2 tbs olive oil and 1/2 tbs grapeseed oil, evenly coat squash cubes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Mix thoroughly, and spread squash into an even layer on the baking sheet.

Roasted Carnival Squash CubesRoast for 15-20 minutes, or until you start to see strong browning.  Turn squash cubes and roast for another 10-15 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool.

Shredded Seasoned KaleWhile squash is roasting remove thick stems from each kale stalk leaving only the leaves.  Using a sharp chopping knife, shred the kale to bite size pieces and place in a large bowl.  Add lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes.  Stir to incorporate.

Kale Salad IngredientsAdd roasted squash, manchego cheese, and almonds.

Northern Spy Food Company Kale Salad Knock OffMix salad thoroughly.

Uptown Mac & GreensSince I’m already knocking off real restaurant ideas, I served our kale salad as the ‘greens’ portion of  Mac & Greens, as inspired by a dish that we had at Red Rooster.  Their greens were braised kale and mustard greens with cardamon (very tasty and totally unexpected, but not super healthy) so, in an effort to make ours a bit more healthy, we went raw and pork-free.  Our ‘mac’ was made with quinoa pasta and three types of cheese.

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