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Higgins Harvard Salad with Squash, Dried Cherries, and Pecans

On campus we are always trying to get the students (and the adults) to eat their vegetables, and this kale salad has been a popular choice that stands up to the old table standards.

This salad is best if it is mixed at least 2 hours before serving to help the kale soften, but it can be made up to 24 hours in advance. This makes it the perfect holiday accompaniment, because you can prepare it the day before, and then add the cherries and pecans just before dinner is served.

Roast Pork Loin


1 pound

butternut squash, peeled and diced to 1" pieces

1 Tbsp

olive oil

1 tsp

fresh thyme leaves

1 Tbsp

garlic, minced

2 bunches

kale, center stem removed and torn into 2 inch pieces

½ each

very thinly sliced small red onion

¼ cup

parsley, flat leaf, roughly chopped

¼ cup

dried cherries (you can substitute craisins)

½ cup

toasted pecans


2-3 each

fresh lemon juice

¼ cup

grain mustard

¼ cup


½ cup

olive oil

To taste

salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 450°.

Toss the squash with garlic, pepper, salt, thyme, and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Transfer to rimmed baking sheet. Roast in preheated 450˚F oven until the edges are brown and cooked through (about 20-30 minutes). Be careful not to overcook, or it will mash in the salad. Set aside to cool.

Place the kale in a large bowl, add parsley and squash, and gently toss in three quarters of the dressing. Allow to marinate for at least two hours, but this can be done 24hrs in advance (perfect for hectic holidays). You can do this in a large freezer Ziploc bag for easy storage in the refrigerator. Put the marinated kale mix in a bowl or on a platter and freshen the salad with the remaining vinaigrette. Sprinkle with cherries and pecans.

*This salad works for all seasons by simply changing what you add to the kale. In the summer you can add orange sections and avocado chunks in place of the squash and cranberries, and top with some shaved parmesan.

Serves 10-15 people

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