Kale and Roasted Squash with Chipotle-Yogurt Dressing

1 large bunch Lacinato kale (about 1lb.)

1 lb. winter squash – Delicata, dumpling, butternut, Red Kuri, Green Kuri

¼ C olive oil

1 t ground cumin

Sea salt

¼ C pumpkin seeds or pepitas

3 oz. crumbled goat cheese or blue cheese

Dressing

1 C plain yogurt

1 T fresh lemon juice

1 T almond butter (can substitute tahini)

½ – 1 T chipotle in adobo sauce, minced

1 small clove garlic, minced

1 t sweet paprika

Sea salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Cut open and seed the squash (peel if using butternut, but the others do not need peeling), and cut into 1-inch pieces. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the squash with ¼ cup of olive oil, cumin and 1 teaspoon of salt. Bake for about 30 minutes, until tender and just browned in spots; remove from the oven and let cool.

Meanwhile, in a small food processor or in a medium bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients; the chipotle peppers are quite hot, so adjust the amount to your liking.  Season with salt and pepper.

Wash, pat dry and strip the ribs from the kale. Discard the ribs, stack and cut the kale into thin strips to produce ribbons; transfer the cut kale to a large mixing bowl and mix well with half the dressing. Let the kale sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes to marinate and soften. (You can also mix the kale and dressing in a large resealable plastic bag, turning the bag over several times to accelerate the marinating.)

Before serving add the cooked squash cubes, and toss again, adding more dressing if necessary. Top the salad with crumbled goat cheese or blue cheese and pumpkin seeds. Serves 4-6. (Make Ahead: the dressing can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.)


Coconut Quinoa Bowl

quinoa

 

This recipe is a great way to use leftover cooked quinoa, but it is so delicious, you’ll be cooking up extra quinoa just so you can make this. While the nutty flavor of the quinoa is particularly nice in this combo, rice, bulgur or couscous would make good substitutes. For a gluten- (and carb-) free alternative, you could make cauliflower rice by grating it and steaming or sauteing it just enough to get rid of the raw flavor. Leftovers? Just slice up a fresh avocado and add some yogurt. This was such a hit at Brookside Gardens last fall, we thought we’d roll it out again for US Botanic Garden this month. This recipe was adapted from 101 Cookbooks.

2 C cooked quinoa
1 lemon
1 C yogurtkale
¼ t salt
2 t olive oil
½ C sliced or slivered almonds
½ C unsweetened shredded coconut
2 garlic cloves, peeled and mashed into a paste with ¼ t sea salt
4 C stemmed & shredded kale, from about 10 large leaves
1 avocado, pitted and sliced

Warm the quinoa. Grate the peel of the lemon and squeeze out the juice; reserve each separately. Stir salt into yogurt, drizzle with olive oil. Set aside. In a skillet over medium heat gently toast almonds; add coconut flakes and mashed garlic to the skillet. Remove skillet from heat and continue stirring until coconut is toasted and garlic is fully incorporated into nut mixture. Transfer skillet contents to a small bowl and reserve. Return skillet to heat; add a splash of olive oil, stir in the kale with a pinch of salt, and cook for just a minute, until the kale collapses a bit, and brightens. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice over it, and transfer out of the pan immediately.

To serve, combine half of the almond coconut mixture with the quinoa in a large bowl. You can serve this individually, or family-style. Top the quinoa with the kale, plenty of the salted yogurt, and top with the remaining almond mixture, avocado, and a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Garnish with grated lemon.

Serves 4.


Creamy Winter Greens au Gratin

creamy greensEven though both spinach and kale (and you could actually add or substitute frozen turnip greens in this recipe also) are plentiful fresh this time of year – winter greens, after all – we are using frozen today because first, freezing tenderizes kale and second, you need an awful lot of fresh greens to get to the equivalent of two pounds of frozen chopped greens. Besides, when you’re making a dish this healthy – nothing beats winter greens for iron, fiber, vitamins, etc. – it’s not difficult to justify buying something frozen even when it’s in season. Pound for pound, I’ll wager the cost is going to be about the same, especially when you factor in cooking and, of course, waste – how many of us actually use kale ribs after we remove them? Another plus: The dish will go together lickety split when using a couple of bags of frozen greens, so stop beating yourself up. And feel better by making your own breadcrumbs – we may love our panko, but in this dish you want larger crumbs for texture and crunch.

1 large bag (16 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 large bag (16 oz) frozen chopped kale, thawed
1 T unsalted butter
½ t ground nutmeg
1/4 t hot pepper flakes (optional)
2 T olive oil
1 C fresh breadcrumbs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 C heavy cream
4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
1 C freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Heat the oven to 400°F. Have ready a large gratin dish or casserole dish (any shape is fine as long as it’s shallow). Drain thawed greens in a large strainer, pressing down to expel as much moisture as possible, then squeeze them in paper towel or dishtowel to extract more moisture; heat butter in a large saucepan and add greens; cover and saute gently about 3 minutes until heated. Add nutmeg and pepper flakes if using and toss to mix well; reserve. In a small bowl, combine olive oil and breadcrumbs, 1/4 t salt and a few grinds of pepper.

In a medium saucepan, bring the cream and garlic to a boil over medium-high heat (watch that it doesn’t boil over), immediately lower the heat, and simmer vigorously until the cream reduces to about 3/4 cup, 4 to 8 min. (Don’t over-reduce.) Take the pan off the heat and remove and discard the garlic cloves. Let the cream cool slightly, stirring occasionally to keep a skin from forming. Season with 1/4 tsp. of salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper.

Put warmed greens in the gratin dish, spreading them out; sprinkle with cheese; pour over reduced cream and top with breadcrumbs. Bake until the gratin is brown and bubbly, about 25 min. Let rest for 10 to 15 min. before serving.

For a change, serve these gratins individually. Just divide ingredients among four small gratin dishes and bake as directed above.


Swiss Chard and Lemon Ricotta Pasta

pasta

 

 

An easy last minute dinner since you may have the ingredients on hand. Kale, spinach and arugula work well too, and if you use spinach or arugula, no need to blanch in hot water. Just toss them in at the end. For a vegetarian version, substitute reconstituted dried mushrooms for the bacon and season with smoked salt. Dried mushrooms, reconstituted by soaking in hot water for 15-30 minutes, have a dense, meaty flavor analogous to bacon or pancetta. This recipe was adapted from Fine Cooking and Danielle made it for a class at Brookside in November 2014.

1 bunch Swiss chard (red, green or rainbow), well washed, ribs stripped and sliced
½ lb spaghetti or other pasta of your choice
¼ lb thick cut bacon, cut into ¼-inch sliceschard
½  large shallot, minced
Olive oil as needed
1/3 C ricotta cheese, whole milk or low fat
2 T Parmesan cheese
Zest from ½ lemon
¼  t salt, to taste
Pinch dried red pepper flakes

Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat. Blanch the Swiss chard for 2 minutes. Scoop out the chard, and drain well. Rough chop the leaves and set the stem pieces aside. Keep the pot of water boiling, and add the pasta and cook according to package direction. Drain and set aside, retaining about 1 cup of liquid from cooking the noodles.

In a large sauté pan, fry bacon until just crispy. Add the shallot and sauté until soft, adding olive oil if needed. Add the Swiss chard stem pieces and cook another 2-3 minutes, until stems are tender. Add the chard leaves and toss well to break up any clumps. Combine the ricotta and Parmesan cheeses in a small bowl, and add the lemon zest, salt, and red pepper flakes. Add to the Swiss chard mixture in the sauté pan and mix well. Add cooked spaghetti, and some of the pasta water as needed. Serve warm. Serves 2-4.


Escarole and Beans

escarole

 

 

Using escarole as your greens in this means that this recipes comes together in about five minutes — that’s how fast the escarole cooks. The salad green also has a nice, soft bitterness and plays well with the beans, making them taste almost sweet. Don’t drain your beans! The liquid provides a creamy sauce. This is absolutely a favorite in our household — it is equally comfortable alongside pan-fried fish, a grilled steak or a hearty stew. If you were to add some sliced grilled sausage to it, you’d make this side into a main course — or just double up on amounts, warm up some crusty bread,  and make it a vegetarian main course. Even small children wanted more when we demoed this at US Botanic Garden in October 2014 so we ramped it up again for Brookside in November 2014.

2 T olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ t salt
½ t pepperescarole
¼ t red pepper flakes (or to taste)
3 heads escarole, rough-cut into 2- 3-inch pieces
1 can white cannellini beans
2 T shredded Parmesan

In a large pot heat oil, garlic, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes; do not let the garlic brown. Add escarole and cook down slightly. Add beans and bean liquid; turn up heat and cook until liquid begins to take on a syrupy look and beans are heated through, about 2 minutes. Remove pot from heat and sprinkle with cheese. Serve immediately.