Warm kale, delicata, pearl couscous salad

This flavorful salad would make a wonderful and good-for-you contribution to a holiday brunch.

The Kitchen Paper
Warm kale salad made with delicata squash, whole wheat pearl couscous, dried cranberries, and pepitas (pumpkin seed).

Have I mentioned how much I love living in Portland? I could go on and on about wonderful food, coffee, scenery, etc., but today it’s about the wonderful creative women I’ve come to know, work with, and call friends! There are so many of them in this town, and the opportunities to hang out and create are endless. Keep it coming, universe!

Today I’m sharing scenes from our PDX Holiday Brunch – a gorgeous morning spent with creative ladies, sponsored by some of our faves: Bob’s Red Mill and Tillamook. You can imagine how good the food with those two behind it! We all gathered for a sweet morning of chatting, sipping, staying warm by the wood stove, and sharing our contributions in a family-style meal. Can we do this every week? Hopefully you will be inspired to create a holiday brunch with your (lady or otherwise) friends this holiday season! Check out the tablescapes for some decoration inspiration – so pretty, I love it!

I contributed this warm kale salad with delicata, whole wheat pearl couscous, dried cranberries, and pepitas. Everyone else brought incredible contributions, too – check out these links (and hopefully discover someone new and wonderful to follow!).

Warm kale, delicata, pearl couscous salad
Serves: 4-6

1 delicata squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt & pepper
1 cup Bob's Red Mill Whole Wheat Pearl Couscous
4 tablespoons Tillamook Unsalted Butter
1 large head of kale
2 garlic gloves, minced or pressed
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup pepitas (roasted shelled pumpkin seeds)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2.Slice the squash in half, lengthwise, scoop out seeds, and then cut into half-moons 1/2-inch think each. Toss with the olive oil, and about 1/2 teaspoon each salt & pepper. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet, and bake for 20 minutes (or until soft).

3. While the squash is cooking, prepare the whole wheat pearl couscous according to the directions. Set aside 1 tablespoon of the butter to melt into the couscous when it's done.

4. To prepare the kale, chop the kale leaves and heat a heavy, large skillet (with a lid) over high heat.

5. When the skillet is VERY hot, add the kale and 1/4 cup of water. Cover, and let cook for 1-2 minutes. When the kale is steamed (it will be moist and bright green), remove the lid.

6. Press in the garlic, add butter, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoonpepper. Stir briskly so as not to burn any kale, but allow for some darkening of leaves while the water cooks off and the garlic slightly cooks – 2 to 3 minutes.

7. Remove the kale from the heat, and toss with the prepared whole wheat couscous. Transfer to your serving dish and arrange the squash on top, along with the dried cranberries and pepitas.

8. Serve warm!

Related post on The Kitchen Paper: Smokey potato split pea soup

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