recipes & wine pairings

Always vegan.

Roasted Squash Salad + Wine Pairing

Roasted Squash Salad + Wine Pairing

Roasted Veggies = king. Kale = queen. This salad = royalty. Fall is the perfect season for roasting up veggies, especially seasonally appropriate ones (helllooooo, squash), and you just can’t go wrong with a salad.


If you don’t like squash you can just go ahead and not look at any of my recipes until winter. This salad is a Fall dream and would go really well as a healthier side dish for Thanksgiving! The kale leaves are massaged with a maple tahini dressing that comes together in a pinch and works great as a go-to dressing on so many salads. The dressing would also work well as a sauce to drizzle over some simple roasted veggies (I really like roasted veggies, okay?).


For some reason when I think of Fall, my mind starts to drift into the world of red wines (which are typically what I reach for in general), but the almost-buttery-yet-slightly tangy flavors in this salad could not be denied a delicious Chardonnay. I know I used a Chardonnay for my last wine pairing also, but that was an unoaked Chardonnay so the tastes and what they pair well with are very different.


The Chardonnay I paired this recipe with is Decoy 2016 (Sonoma County, California). This wine is made by Duckhorn Vineyards, which make one of the first red wines I ever tried and liked! This Chardonnay has a peachy floral flavor and is very well balanced with nice acidity and a light oaky sweetness on the end . I found it at my local wine store and recommend you try it, too. You can certainly use another Chardonnay that you like or can find locally. 

If you try this recipe, let me know! If you pair yours with a different wine, let me know how it goes! Leave a comment below, or share a picture on instagram with #datkindlife . Stay kind, bbs!

Roasted Squash and Kale Salad  

Prep Time: 10 mins  Cooking Time: 20-25 mins  Total Time: 30-35 mins


·      1 small acorn squash, unpeeled, seeds removed, cut into ½-inch thick wedges*

·      1 tablespoon olive oil

·      ½ teaspoon salt

·      ½ teaspoon black pepper

·      ¼ cup tahini

·      3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

·      2 teaspoons mustard seeds

·      2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

·      salt and fresh pepper, to taste

·      3-5 teaspoons water, if/as needed

·      ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons dried cranberries

·      ¼ cup toasted pepitas

·      ¼ of a red onion, thinly sliced

·      7-8 ounces (typically 1 bunch) lacinato kale, stemmed and cut into bite-friendly strips


1.    Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2.    In a medium bowl, add the cut and cleaned acorn squash wedges, olive oil, salt and black pepper, and toss with your hands to coat all the wedges. Add the coated squash to your prepped baking sheet in a single layer and put into the preheated oven for 10 minutes.

3.    After the 10 minutes is up, remove the squash from the oven and flip each piece, then return to the oven for 10-15 minutes more, or until squash is browned and tender. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

4.    While the squash is roasting, make your dressing. In a medium bowl, whisk together the tahini, red wine vinegar, mustard seeds, maple syrup, salt and pepper. This mixture may start to thicken and seize up- which is okay. Mix as much as you can, then incorporate water 1 teaspoon at a time (if needed), mixing thoroughly until a nice smooth consistency is reached.

5.    In a large bowl, toss kale with dressing and massage into the kale leaves with your hands until nicely coated.

6.    Put massaged kale onto a serving platter and top with cooled squash, dried cranberries, pepitas, and red onion. Serve and enjoy!


*tip: To cut the acorn squash, first cut the squash in 1/2., long ways. Then scrape out the seeds with a small metal spoon and discard. Put the squash cut-side-down on the cutting board and use the grooves in the squash as cutting guides, or cut short-ways for fancy scalloped slices (which I should have done for photo purposes lol). Acorn squash are very hard when raw, so be sure to use a sharp knife and proceed with caution.

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