Whitney Tingle and Danielle DuBoise of Sakara Life, the plant-based, organic, nutrient-dense and highly fashionable whole-foods brand, invite us into their salad universe with this recipe, where simple greens morph into edible luxury. The loaded salad is truly delicious—bright with lemon juice, rich with roasted squash and delightfully crunchy with crisp fried shallots. It's the perfect showstopping dinner party starter that will have all of your guests talking (unless their mouths are full of vegetables).
Tingle and DuBoise dress the salad with their Magic Mushroom dressing. It's lovely, but it also tastes great with an extra squeeze of lemon juice and pinch of salt.
Make sure you rinse and dry the chickpeas well, even letting them air-dry for an hour if you can. They are best eaten right away, but you can recrisp them in a 400-degree oven for 10 minutes.
To learn more, read "Style File: Sakara Life."
Kale and Butternut Squash Salad
Recipe adapted from Whitney Tingle and Danielle DuBoise, Sakara Life
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 5 minutes
1 small (1½ pounds) butternut squash—peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
¾ teaspoon pink Himalayan salt, divided, plus more to taste
¾ cup (½ can) cooked chickpeas, rinsed and patted dry
½ cup canola oil, for frying
1 shallot, thinly sliced on a mandoline
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more to taste (½ lemon)
3 packed cups lacinato kale leaves, torn into bite-size pieces
2 Fuyu persimmons, peeled
3 tablespoons dried mulberries (substitute with golden raisins)
3 tablespoons roasted pumpkin seeds
1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
2. Line a baking sheet tray with parchment paper and add the squash pieces in a single layer. Season with 2½ tablespoons of olive oil and ¼ teaspoon of salt, tossing to evenly coat. Spread in an even layer and roast until tender and golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes.
3. Line a separate baking sheet with parchment paper and add the chickpeas. Season with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and ½ teaspoon of salt, tossing to evenly coat. Roast, shaking the pan every 10 minutes, until the chickpeas are crispy and split open, 30 to 40 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and fry, stirring with a slotted spoon, until they turn deep golden brown, 15 minutes. Lower the heat to medium if the shallots darken quickly before getting crispy. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and immediately season with salt.
5. Dress the kale 10 minutes before serving: In a large bowl, add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice, 1½ teaspoons of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Add the kale and toss with your hands, massaging to tenderize.
6. Assemble the salad: Roughly dice one persimmon and slice the other into ¼-inch rounds. Line a large serving plate with the dressed kale. Lay the persimmon rounds in the center and surround with the squash, chickpeas, diced persimmons, dried mulberries and pumpkin seeds. Top with the crispy shallots and serve.
*This article was originally published on 01/27/2016 by Tasting Table editors. The restaurant, chef and/or recipe are in no way affiliated with or endorsing the featured sponsor.