My fondness for leisurely strolling through the farmers market is no secret. It’s actually become a full-blown obsession at this point, which is reinforced by the accessibility of farmers markets in my community. I had no clue what I was missing before I moved to LA and now I can barely imagine Sundays without stopping by the market.
Inspiration for new recipes often strikes at the market, and I love playing around in the kitchen at home to try out my ideas. It’s always an adventure sorting through the pantry to figure out how I can incorporate the dregs of a bag of quinoa or the last of my sun dried tomatoes.
In this case, I picked up a beautiful delicata squash from the market and bundles of kale and sage. I spotted coconut oil and quinoa in the pantry and set off to create a salad that would strike a perfect autumnal balance of savory and sweet.
The salad was a hit, even by Joshua’s standards (who is normally a meat-loving fiend). The quinoa, pepitas, and cheese give it staying power while the kale and vinaigrette keep it light and fresh.
A note on delicata squash: if you haven’t tried it, you’re in for a treat! It’s sweet and creamy like butternut but only a hundred times easier to deal with as the skin is edible and the flesh isn’t so resistant to the cut of a knife.
Now for the recipe, brought to you in step-by-step format thanks to SideChef! You can find it on the app to easily follow each step in just a few weeks!
1 sweet crunchy apple, such as honey crisp or gala
1 delicata squash
1/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 bunch lacinto/dinosaur kale, washed
3 sprigs fresh sage, leaves torn off the stems
2 tbsp. coconut oil
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
salt & pepper, to taste
parmesan or asiago cheese, optional
coconut oil cooking spray
1 garlic clove, grated
reserved coconut oil from fried sage (about 1 tbsp)
2 tsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tbsp. orange champagne vinegar (can sub. regular champagne vinegar)
1 tsp. whole grain dijon mustard
2 tsp. plain dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Slice squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds. Slice the squash into 1/2 pieces.
3. Line a baking sheet with foil. Coat with coconut oil cooking spray and arrange squash on the tray. Sprinkle with cinnamon and salt.
4. Place the squash in the oven and roast for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.
5. While the squash is in the oven, prepare the rest of the salad. Heat 2 tbsp. coconut oil over medium heat in a skillet.
6. When the oil is hot, toss the sage leaves in the oil. Let the leaves sizzle for about 4 minutes. Remove the leaves with a slotted spoon and place on a clean paper towel to drain.
7. Prepare the quinoa according to package instructions. Set aside to cool.
8. Pour the remaining sage-infused coconut oil into a small bowl. You will be using this as the base for the vinaigrette.
9. Add the salad dressing ingredients (olive oil, maple syrup, vinegar, mustards, and cinnamon) to the small bowl, and whisk to combine. Adjust seasonings and add salt and pepper to taste.
1. Dice the apple and thinly slice the shallot. Chop the kale.
11. In a large salad bowl, combine the kale, apple, shallot, quinoa, and salad dressing. Mix thoroughly and allow to sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes to marinate.
12. Add in the delicata squash and gently toss.
13. Serve the salad and garnish with pepitas, crispy sage leaves, and cheese shavings if desired.