For when you need to get out of that green-salad rut, this charmingly different salad combining all the best flavors of winter will have everyone cleaning their plates.

6 leaves of Tuscan kale (a.k.a. dinosaur or Italian kale), chopped or torn into small pieces
5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, divided
1 cup kamut or wheatberries
½ cup French lentils (a.k.a. Le Puy Lentils)
1 acorn squash, sliced into 1-inch rings
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Kosher salt, to taste
2 onions, sliced into rings
½ cup raw sliced almonds
1/3 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen, defrosted, and halved
1 tablespoon sugar

  1. In a medium bowl, toss the kale pieces in 2 tablespoons of the vinegar. Let marinate while preparing the rest of the salad.
  2. In a saucepan, combine the kamut or wheatberries with enough water to cover plus 2 inches, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered until tender for 1 hour. Drain and let cool.
  3. In another saucepan, combine the lentils with enough water to cover plus 2 inches, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer, uncovered, until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain and let cool.
  4. Preheat the oven to 3500F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Arrange the squash rings on the lined baking sheet. Rub with 2 tablespoons of the oil and sprinkle with the salt. Roast for 20 minutes, turning over when golden brown, and then roast another 20 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, cut the onion rings in half. Caramelize the onions in the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil on low heat, cooking them low and slow and stirring often, so they become evenly soft and brown, about 30 to 40 minutes. Add the almonds 3 to 5 minutes before the onions are done to toast till golden.
  7. In a small bowl, soak the cranberries in the remaining 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar together with the sugar for 30 to 60 minutes to sweeten.
  8. Assemble the salad: In a large salad bowl, combine the kale, kamut, lentils, roasted squash, and cranberries with their liquid. Gently mix well together. Add the onions and almonds and serve.

Yield: 4-6 servings.


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