Kale Salad with Sage Roasted Butternut Squash

Sage-Butter Butternut Squash Kale Salad

It is noon-ish here in McCall, Idaho—our stomping grounds for the week—and the thermometer on the porch has yet to reach the 40°F mark. With weather like this, we have roasted a full chicken (maple butter chicken, to be exact), made enchilada soup (adapted this recipe), and even ate freshly baked pumpkin pie in front of the fireplace… for most of the US though, I know, it is not winter yet. This sage-butter butternut squash salad is what I was making while still at home, and will probably return to making when we get back.

I forgot one key ingredient for the photoshoot of this recipe: parmesan cheese! It went on shortly after. Butternut squash, pecans, and parm make this salad quite hearty. One day we had it for breakfast with a fried egg on top, another we ate it as lunch. It would also work as a side, served in a big bowl and tossed. Capers might seem like a curve ball ingredient, but since butternut squash, pecans, and currants are all a tad sweet, the capers add a necessary salty, brine-y pop.

Sage-Butter Butternut Squash Kale Salad
Kale Salad with Sage Roasted Butternut Squash

Kale Salad with Sage Roasted Butternut Squash

Published October 2, 2019 by
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Serves: 2 (as a meal) or 4 (as a side)   |    Active Time: 30 minutes



Ingredients:


For the butternut squash:
  • 2 cups peeled, seeded, and cubed (1/2-inch cubes) butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 10 sage leaves
  • A few cracks black pepper
  • 1-2 three-finger pinches of salt

  • For the salad:
  • 1 bunch green curly kale, chopped (optionally, remove stems)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 three-finger pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup currants
  • 1/3 cup toasted pecans
  • 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan Reggiano
  • 2-3 tablespoons capers, strained
  • Additional ground black pepper to taste

  • For the vinaigrette:
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup

  • Directions:

    1. Cook the squash: heat 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat in a 10-inch skillet. Swirl the pan to coat the bottom in butter. When butter is melted and starts to bubble, place butternut squash in pan. Cook, without stirring, for about 7 minutes. Add sage, and stir gently. Cook for 7-10 more minutes, stirring very occasionally, until butternut squash is golden on the edges and tender all the way through. Season with black pepper and salt to taste. Remove from heat.
    2. Meanwhile, prep the salad. Place chopped kale in large salad bowl and drizzle very lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Using your hands, rub the oil and salt into the kale leaves until they are tender and bright green (this makes them softer—better for eating). Divide kale among serving bowls, if using. Top with currants, toasted pecans, capers, and parmesan. Add butternut squash.
    3. Make vinaigrette: place all vinaigrette in a jar with a lid and shake to emulsify. Drizzle dressing to taste over salad.
    4. Serve salad immediately, season with black pepper to taste, and toss.

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    Roasted Summer Veggies with Parmesan Polenta

    Roasted Summer Veggies with Parmesan Polenta

    Ina Garten’s recipe for parmesan polenta got me over my aversion for all things polenta. I had never been a fan of the gooey textured stuff before, but I had been missing something key: enough butter, cream, and parmesan. That, and the right toppings. This meal brings it all together—a creamy polenta base, which serves a two-part role as sauce and substance; and roasted summer veggies, which benefit from (and compliment) the creaminess of the rest of the dish; pine nuts, which add much-needed crunch. I’ve made it four times in the last month, a testament to how well I’ve been convert from polenta-hater to lover. Maybe it will convert someone you know, too.

    Roasted Summer Veggies with Parmesan Polenta
    Roasted Summer Veggies with Parmesan Polenta

    Roasted Summer Veggies with Parmesan Polenta

    Published May 30, 2019 by
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    Serves: 4   |    Active Time: 45 minutes



    Ingredients:

    For Roasted Summer Veggies:
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 1-2 small to medium zucchini
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 medium red onion
  • Leaves from 2 sprigs thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil
  • Salt & Pepper

  • For Parmesan Polenta:
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coarsely ground or stone ground cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 heaping cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1-2 tablespoon heavy cream (or milk)
  • Ground black pepper to taste

  • For Serving:
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • Garnish: additional shredded Parmesan cheese, additional sprigs of thyme

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 475°F. Prepare veggies: dice eggplant into 1/2-inch cubes. Slice zucchini into half moons. Slice bell peppers into strips. Slice red onion into wedges.
    2. Place chopped veggies and cherry tomatoes on a sheet pan in a single layer. Use two sheet pans if veggies are over-crowding the pan. Drizzle liberally with oil, and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and thyme leaves.
    3. Place veggies in oven and roast for 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes to ensure even cooking.
    4. When the veggies have 15 minutes left to cook, begin preparing the polenta. Bring 4 cups of water in a pot to a boil. Add salt and garlic.
    5. When water is boiling, add cornmeal, whisking immediately to prevent clumps from forming. After a few minutes, polenta should begin to thicken. Continue whisking, and remove from heat. Continue stirring almost constantly for about 10 minutes.
    6. Add butter, Parmesan cheese, and cream to polenta, stirring to incorporate. Polenta should become thick and creamy, and will continue to set as it cools. Season to taste with pepper.
    7. Serve: scoop polenta into serving bowls, and top with roasted veggies. Sprinkle with pine nuts and parmesan and a garnish with a sprig of thyme. Serve hot.

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    Fried Fish with Lemon-Butter Sauce

    Fried Fish with Lemon-Butter Sauce

    There is nothing fancy about fried fish drizzled with lemon and butter—but it can look (and taste) awfully nice topped with capers and sitting next to a fresh salad (or yeah, crispy potatoes 😋). Start with a white, flaky, mild fish like barramundi or cod. Fillets should be less than 1/2-inch think, because the cooking goes fast! This recipe can be gluten-free or -full, use which ever flour (and breadcrumbs) your prefer. Opt for breadcrumbs rather than panko; it just works better. Use plenty of oil in the pan, and let it get hot enough. Best when eaten right away! (Though if there are leftovers, try heating the fish in a toaster oven, which will keep it crispy).

    Fried Fish with Lemon-Butter Sauce

    Fried Fish with Lemon-Butter Sauce

    Published May 14, 2019 by
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    Serves: 4   |    Active Time: 30 minutes



    Ingredients:


    For the fish:
  • 4 thin white fish fillets (such as barramundi or tilapia)
  • Sprinkle of salt
  • 1/4 cup measure-for-measure gluten-free flour blend (or regular AP flour)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free bread crumbs - such as Schar (or regular bread crumbs)
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil

  • For the lemon-butter sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Zest and juice from 1 lemon
  • 2-3 tablespoons capers

  • Directions:

    1. Sprinkle each fillet of fish with salt.
    2. Whisk egg in a bowl until frothy. Place flour on one plate and bread crumbs on another.
    3. Working with one fish fillet at a time, lightly coat each fillet in flour, and then dip in egg. Roll in bread crumbs, and set aside.
    4. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, place fillets in oil (if oil dies not sizzle, it is not hot enough). Cook fish for 3-4 minutes on the first side, and then flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Fish should be golden on the outside and opaque all the way through. Remove from heat.
    5. Place butter and garlic in a small sauce pan. Heat over medium-low. When butter is melted, remove from heat. Add lemon zest and juice, along with capers, and stir.
    6. Place fish on serving plates and spoon lemon-butter sauce over each fillet.

    Fried Fish with Lemon-Butter Sauce
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