Massaged Kale Salad with Pomegranate & Delicata Squash

Update: I added new photos of this recipe on 11/13/2017. The recipe is the same and still delicious! Original photo is at the bottom. 

Massaged Kale Salad with Pomegranate & Delicata Squash

Pomegranate seeds are the sweet taste of winter on it's way. They're a little burst of tart juice, a spot of brightness in the otherwise dreary winter season. Pomegranates were the hallmark of the winter season at my dad house -- the minute I came home to pomegranates, I knew that the holidays weren't far off. We always just ate them plain, straight out of the rind, while sitting on the porch (the deep red juice was too dangerous to mess with inside). This was before you could buy pomegranates pre-deseeded, and it was sweeter that way: every little gem had to be worked for. 

I still buy my pomegranates whole, and I still think they taste better when you do the deseeding for yourself. Most of the time, I still eat them plain, too. When I do add them to dishes, they're simple, like this salad. 

Massaged Kale Salad with Pomegranate & Delicata Squash
Massaged Kale Salad with Pomegranate & Delicata Squash

I have been sooooo ready for salads this week-- hearty, nourishing, big bowl salads. Maybe it to counteract the pie? All I know is that I can't get enough brightly colored produce in my life right now.  And let me tell you, the pomegranate seeds make this salad taste like a big holiday treat to me! (Not to mention the delicata squash, which is also pretty high on my end-of-fall list of favorites). 

And the contrast between the creamy goat cheese and those tart pomegranate seeds? Now that's where it's at.  

Massaged Kale Salad with Pomegranate & Delicata Squash

Massaged Kale Salad with Pomegranate & Delicata Squash

Paleo, Primal, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free    |       |    Print Friendly and PDF

This salad gets a burst of freshness from the pomegranate, creaminess from the squash, and bitter bite from the greens.

Serves: 5   |    Total Time:


  • 1 delicata squash
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil, for roasting squash
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 bunch red kale
  • Juice from 1/2 orange
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, for dressing
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate perils
  • 2 tablespoons minced red onion
  • 1/3 cup goat cheese crumbles (optional, use hazelnuts instead)
  • A few cracks of black pepper


  1. Preheat over to 450°F. Slice the delicata squash in half, and remove the seeds. Cut into 1/2-inch thick crescents, and toss in avocado oil. Spread out on baking pan, and season with salt & pepper. Bake for 20-25 minutes until squash is cooked through and golden. Once cooked, set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, massage the kale: remove the stems from the kale, and set aside. Place the leafy bits in a salad bowl, and squeeze orange juice over the leaves. Sprinkle with salt. Using your hands, massage the kale until it begins to soften. Drizzle with olive oil.
  3. Top with red onion, pomegranate perils, cooked delicata squash, and goat cheese crumbles. Season with freshly cracked pepper. Serve.

Messaged Kale Salad with Pomegranate & Delicata Squash