Health! I need some veggies! Health! Not just any veggies! Health! I need some greens! Heeeeealth! (to the tune of the Beatles’ “Help”)
This is a dangerous time of year for me with food. The weather is crisp and cozy and my belly long for warmth and comfort – mainly hearty slow cooked cheese wonderfulness. So for the past few days…ok weeks…I have been very indulgent and neglecting the hearty warmth of good fall vegetables. It was time for salad.
“But I don’t like salad” said my inner chubette. My response to the inner daemon, “you will like this one”
Daemon = satisfied…
Kale Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash and Pine Nuts with Lemon Vinaigrette:
3 cups Kale – washed, dried and roughly chopped
2 cups Butternut Squash – cut into ½” pieces (about half a medium squash)
4 tbsp’s Herb and Garlic Infused Olive Oil (see Below)
1/3 cup of Pine Nuts
Toss the squash with the olive oil and dump onto a cookie sheet with, you guessed it, parchment paper. Sprinkle with salt and pepper then bake in a 395’ oven for about 45 minutes, or until the pieces are browned around the edges and a fork goes through easily.
Toast the Pine Nuts either in a dry pan on the stove over medium heat, or in a toaster oven on a tin foil sheet for no more than 2 minutes. As soon as you smell them they are done! Any longer and they will burn. All you want is a little bit of brown color – better to under do it than over.
Grab a platter or a salad bowl. Place the chopped kale on the bottom, then the roasted squash, then the pine nuts, then, if you’re feeling fancy, shave or grate some fresh Parmesan over the top. Serve with your jar/bowl of Lemon Vinaigrette (see below) and let people dress as they see fit and some crispy cheesy garlic crostini!
4ish tbsp’s lemon juice (one lemons worth)
½ tbsp Dijon mustard
¼ cup olive oil
Whisk the mustard into the lemon juice, then, while continuing to whisk, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Or do the easy, cheating version and place all ingredients into a jar with a good lid, close it up and shake the heck out of it – it doesn’t emulsify the way the pro’s like it, but you can just shake the jar again if it separates!
Cheesy Garlic Crostini:
1 Sourdough baguette or your favorite Crostini bread – cut into ¼” slices at an angle
6-8 cloves of garlic – cut into thin slices
Grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
about ¼ cup of Herb and Garlic infused Olive Oil (see below)
Pour the olive oil into a wide shallow dish/bowl/plate, dip each slice of bread into the oil, coating each side, then place onto a baking sheet. Place a few slices of sliced garlic onto each piece of bread – add more if you’re a garlicoholic like me! Then cover each slice with a generous amount of Parmesan and sprinkle with a bit of the fresh thyme leaves. Bake in a 395’ F oven for 15-20 minutes, until the cheese starts to brown just a little bit.
Herb and Garlic infused Olive Oil:
1 cup olive oil
6 garlic cloves – minced
a handful of fresh thyme stalks
Place a pan on the stove over very low heat. Add everything. Let it heat together slowly for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally and make sure the garlic doesn’t stick to the bottom – don’t let it simmer or boil, just warm it very slowly.
Turn the heat off and let it cool for a few minutes – just so you can safely transfer it without burning yourself or blowing up a jar. Remove the thyme stalks and pour into a jar (glass is better) with an airtight lid.
Use for sautéing, salad dressing, GF bread dipping, or whatever else tickles your fancy!
For some reason I have a hard time accepting that healthy food can also be incredibly delicious and satisfying. This salad, however, has helped me do away with that backwards thinking and is spawning some new recipe ideas for a less gluttonous future.
Behold the power of Kale.