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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    White Bean Salad with Fried Garlic Toasts

    White Bean Salad with Fried Garlic Toasts

    Low-effort and no-cook are ideal characteristics of a late summer, weeknight meal. Grilling is great, but sometimes you need something even easier—not to mention fresher—to put on the table. This white bean salad has been one of my favorite 15-minute dinners this summer, eaten straight, tossed with a bit of arugula, or best of all, with slices of sourdough that have been fried in butter and garlic. It’s satisfying (beans and feta cheese!) but also delivers some produce (tomatoes, cucumber, parsley). Some might call this an appetizer, but for me it’s just right as a light meal. Happy August!

    White Bean Salad with Fried Garlic Toasts
    White Bean Salad with Fried Garlic Toasts

    White Bean Salad with Fried Garlic Toasts

    Published July 30, 2019 by
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    Serves: 4   |    Active Time: 15 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 1 14-ounce can navy beans
  • 1/2 cup diced cucumber
  • 1/2 cup diced cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 red onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup feta crumbles
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste (optional)

  • For the toasts:
  • 4-5 slices bread of choice (such as sourdough)
  • 2-3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 clove garlic

  • Directions:

    1. Strain and rinse navy beans. Place in a medium-sized bowl.
    2. Add diced cucumber, cherry tomatoes, red onion, feta, and parsley. Gently stir until ingredients are well distributed. Drizzle with olive oil.
    3. Add freshly cracked black pepper to taste, then season with salt to taste (Note: the feta will also add salt to this dish, so really taste it as you add salt. I find I only need to add a little bit. If your beans were already salty, you may not need salt at all).
    4. Bean salad can be made several hours ahead of time. Cover and place in fridge until ready to eat.
    5. When ready to serve, prepare the garlic toasts: mince garlic. Add garlic, along with 1/2 tablespoon of butter to a skillet and warm over medium heat. Swirl butter in pan to cover the bottom.
    6. When pan is hot, place several pieces of bread in skillet in a single layer. (My 10-inch skillet only fit 3-4 pieces at a time, depending on size. Work in batches.) Toast on the first side for 3-4 minutes. Then, use tongs to flip bread to second side. Add an additional 1/2 tablespoon of butter if pan gets dry. Toast for 3-4 minutes on second side, then remove from pan. Repeat until all slices are toasted.
    7. Serve: top each toast with bean salad and set on serving plates.

    White Bean Salad with Fried Garlic Toasts
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    Cold Rice Noodle Bowls with Sriracha Tofu, Thai Basil & Tahini Sauce

    Cold Rice Noodle Bowls with Sriracha Tofu, Thai Basil & Tahini Sauce

    I’m trying something a little different today: a consolidated blog post. While I love writing, sometimes getting a blog post drafted (and published) is a chore. And, I have heard so many people—from friends to general internet chatter—say they wish it was easier to get to the damn recipe! So, here you are. This is an ingredient-heavy recipe, but once you’ve made it once you’ll see it’s quite easy to throw together. Cold rice noodles make a great lunch for enjoying in the sun, on the patio. Fresh herbs, tahini, and spicy Sriracha are bold and bright. Hope you enjoy!

    Cold Rice Noodle Bowls with Sriracha Tofu, Thai Basil & Tahini Sauce
    Cold Rice Noodle Bowls with Sriracha Tofu, Thai Basil & Tahini Sauce

    Cold Rice Noodle Bowls with Sriracha Tofu, Thai Basil & Tahini Sauce

    Published May 7, 2019 by
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    Serves: 4   |    Active Time: 30 minutes



    Ingredients:

    For the Sriracha tofu:
  • 1 pound extra firm or super firm tofu, drained
  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce

  • For the tahini dressing:
  • ½ cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • For the bowls:
  • 1 eight ounce package Mai Fun rice noodles
  • About 2 cups spring greens
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced small
  • 1 cucumber, diced small
  • 1 large carrot, julienned
  • 1 daikon radish, julienned
  • 3 sprigs Thai basil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • Optional garnish: toasted sesame seeds and lime wedges

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 475°F and fit a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    2. Place Sriracha, olive oil, and soy sauce in a medium mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Cut tofu into 1-inch cubes and place in bowl. Use a spatula to gently turn tofu in sauce until coated. Using tongs or a fork, move tofu to prepared baking pan, leaving at least 1/2 inch of space between pieces. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Using tongs, flip tofu to the other side. Bake for an additional 12-15 minutes, then place pan aside to cool and turn off oven.
    3. Meanwhile, prepare tahini dressing: place tahini, maple syrup, rice vinegar, water, ginger, and garlic in a small bowl and whisk until fully incorporated (note: at first, tahini might not want to mix in, but eventually it will become a smooth sauce!).
    4. Cook rice noodles according to package. Place cooked rice noodles in a fine mesh sieve and rinse with cold water.
    5. Assemble bowls: divide spring greens among serving dishes. Top with rice noodles. Add red pepper, cucumber, carrot, and radish. Top with tofu, then garnish with basil, mint, peanuts, sesame seeds, and lime wedges. Drizzle with tahini sauce. Serve.

    Cold Rice Noodle Bowls with Sriracha Tofu, Thai Basil & Tahini Sauce
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