Dishing Up the Dirt

roasted butternut squash and kale salad

February 25, 2013


When the highlight of your day is reading an appropriate temperature on your greenhouse thermometer I think you can officially call yourself a loser  farmer.


Not only is our greenhouse temperature doing well (although we are due for some REALLY cold nights coming up) but life at the farm is going smoothly. We aren’t totally busy yet, (we have about 2 more weeks before things get crazy) so we are enjoying this slow time. Our days have consisted of a little weeding in our garlic patch followed by some minor rock removal in the fields. And of course, a quick trip to the local bar after work is a must. Nothing like a cold beer to ease sore muscles.


Our evenings have been spent eating dinner together and then obsessively checking on the greenhouse temperature.  It’s hard to tell if our seedlings are doing well yet, but if unconditional love has anything to do with it I think they will be fine.


I feel like a mother to a newborn child. I sneak out of bed every night to check on our seedlings. I find myself singing quietly as I do this. If I could, I would wrap them up in a blanket and rock them gently until they were warm.  And yes, I am aware at how ridiculous that last sentence was. I think my sleepless nights are making me crazy.


I might be losing my mind, but at least I keep eating my vegetables! This roasted butternut squash and kale salad is pretty darn tasty. It’s nothing fancy, and this is not the type of recipe that makes me want to jump up and down and tell you to make immediately. But it’s good. And you totally should make it. Besides, not everything has to be jump up and down worthy right?


Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale Salad (serves 4)

3 TBS olive oil, divided

1 1/2 cups of  1/2 inch cubed butternut squash

1 large bunch of kale, stems removed and cut into bite sized pieces.

3 cups arugula

1 cup cooked chickpeas

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 of a red onion, diced

1 tsp paprika

salt and pepper

For the dressing:

4 TBS of extra virgin olive oil

2 1/2 TBS balsamic Vinegar

1 small shallot, minced

1 tsp dijon mustard

salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 425. Grease a large sheet pan. Toss the squash with 2 TBS of olive oil, paprika, salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes (or until squash is tender) turning the squash once or twice.

Meanwhile, heat 1 TBS of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the minced garlic. Cook for about 2 minutes stirring often. Add the kale and chickpeas. Cook for about 3-5 minutes or until kale is slightly wilted and turns bright green. Remove from heat and set aside.

Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients. Set aside.

Toss the kale, chickpeas, squash, and arugula together. Drizzle with dressing and red onion. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

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28 thoughts on “roasted butternut squash and kale salad

  1. I love roasted butternut and the way it’s laying, just delicately on that fluffy kale and with those chickpeas…that is just so pretty and so healthy! Love it when you get both 🙂

  2. liz says:

    I think you should read the Frog and Toad story called, The Garden by Arnold Lobel. I know it’s a kid’s story but you’ll enjoy it. It captures your feelings beautifully.
    Your parents are probably amazed at what all you are doing.

  3. You’re definitely not a loser. I think you both are inspiring! You know you are passionate about it if it keeps you up at night, checking on them like a newborn.

  4. I love roasted butternut squash! If I was able to plant crops from seedlings I would probably be doing the same thing. Checking on them ALL. THE. TIME. Glad to hear there is someone else out there like that!! 🙂

  5. webangel81 says:

    Reblogged this on Connecting the Dots and commented:
    I so want to try this!

  6. I love using roasted winter squash in salads (and many other ways). Squash and kale go so well together, too. I am pretty jealous of all your seedlings! I can’t wait until we have land to do the same!

  7. Oh I love that you do this! It is so clear how passionate you are about your new career and it’s so fun to watch!

  8. Ooh, paprika. Now there is an herb that I don’t think I’ve ever purchased, so we definitely don’t have any at home. Putting it on the list – love it on potatoes, but now have to try it with squash!

  9. Such a beautiful salad! I haven’t made anything with butternut lately, and I should get on that before winter is over. I’m glad you guys are enjoying the lull.

  10. Pretty much anything with butternut squash makes me jump up and down excited 🙂 This looks like a perfectly yummy salad 🙂

  11. It’s impossible to read your posts and not smile at the same time :). Seriously, those are lucky seeds to be nursed by such a caring farmer like yourself! That roasted butternut squash and kale salad -another amazing blend of yours I simply can’t wait to try.

  12. This salad looks so delicious! I love butternut squash, and this is a phenomenal use of it.

  13. Tiff Koshiol says:

    I miss the days when I started my flower seeds in March! I might have to start some again this year. I miss the smell of dirt! We are still under a foot of snow! Dirt therapy is one of my favorite things!

  14. Julia says:

    Okay, number 1: The salad looks awesome. I’d munch on it any ol’ day of the week. Number 2: my mom’s boyfriend this weekend asked me if I had heard of “Farmer in the Dell” and I said “yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeah!” and he said he had found your site because he was looking up eggplant recipes and was intrigued by your truckload of eggplants he found on your site! Such a small world…just thought I’d let ya know my mom’s bf thinks you’re the SHIZ!

  15. This salad is totally jump up and down worthy! Chickpea, butternut squash AND kale? Three of my favorites. 🙂

  16. This salad looks marvelous, lovey! And I always have these ingredients on hand, which means this will be dinner SOON!

  17. You are so cute how you nurture and worry about those seeds! They can’t not turn out well with all the love going into them! This salad looks awesome too!

  18. This sounds comforting and healthy at the same time. I wouldn’t have thought it possible if I hadn’t seen it for myself! I love both roasted squash and kale. Definitely will try!

  19. Great rustic recipe and I’d still jump up and down! I loved reading about your exploits in faring and can’t wait to check in soon to see your next move. I have a great respect for cultivation and smaller operations than mass produced. Good luck!!

  20. I made a really boring salad yesterday and just threw some quickly cooked cod on top, but I wish I had this salad to put it on top of instead! The roasted, browned bits on the chickpeas and squash make me want to dive right in.

  21. Well this salad makes *me* want to jump up and down. 😉 So pretty!

    When you find yourself making up crazy songs about the plants, *then* you should worry. Not that I would know anything about that.

  22. Jackie Dodd says:

    I love that your seeds are like children! And don’t be surprised if I show up at your farm one day and ask you to make me this salad.

  23. I’m a firm believer in the TLC vitamin to make healthy, happy plants!! And this salad sounds incredible. I think butternut squash in salads IS the answer to making salads warming and heavy enough for winter eats!

  24. Kale and butternut squash? Yum Love the pretty golden roasting marks on the squash, looks so good. 🙂

  25. I totally need to get started with my seeds! This salad looks so filling and hearty–perfect for the last few weeks of winter.

  26. jlaceda says:

    Awesome, awesome, awesome salad! Need I say more?

  27. Oops! I left my “parenting” comment on your curried soup above before reading this post. I wonder what lullaby seedlings would prefer???

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