This salad is a spinoff of one I had two years ago at Nick & Toni’s café in New York City. The acidity of the vinegar and the warmth of the butternut squash wilts the leaves just enough to take the bitter edge off while still retaining its al-dente bite. You can certainly sauté your kale lightly first if you prefer. Be sure to buy a block of good provolone cheese… not the pre-sliced stuff in your deli section.
2 bunches dinosaur kale
1 small butternut squash
Provolone cheese, cubed
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1.5 tbsp maple syrup
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Peel, seed and dice the butternut squash. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle lightly with salt and chili powder. Toss well, spread out on baking sheet and roast until tender.
Meanwhile, thinly slice the kale and wash thoroughly.
Place the pancetta in a hot skillet and brown on both sides. Remove and drain on a paper towel.
Make a vinaigrette by whisking together the vinegar, oil and syrup. Season with salt and pepper to taste. To serve, toss the kale together with the vinaigrette, roasted squash. Top with provolone and pancetta before serving.