BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND KALE
1 large butternut sqash
2-3 oz kale (about 1/2 a bunch)
1 medium red onion
1 large fuji apple
1 sprig of rosemary
1 sprig of thyme
10-12 sage leaves
1 c chicken (or vegetable) stock
1 T butter
1 T olive oil
1/8 t salt
5 cracks of pepper from mill
Preheat oven to 450.
You'll also need aluminum foil.
Total prep time about 45 minutes.
yield: 4 servings
This is one of my favorite sides for Thanksgiving, or any fall meal really. It's so hearty, you could eat it as a meal alone. For vegetarians I like to throw in a little tempeh, and when cooking it for my meat-eating friends I like to serve it with roasted rosemary chicken; either way, it's delicious!
Start by preheating your oven to 450. Then gather together your other ingredients.
I like to first cut my squash in half, this way it's a little easier to handle. Butternut squash are hard. I suggest you use a sturdy knife, you don't want to cut yourself trying to slice into it.
Slice into squash really using your weight to help push your knife through. With your right hand on the handle and your left palm on the knife tip, press down. Do NOT hold blade tip! You don't want to lose a fingertip!
Once you have sliced the squash in half scoop out the seeds with a spoon. If you have kids, this is a great job for them. It's just like cleaning out a pumpkin for carving! Have them save seeds for roasting, it's a great activity that will keep them busy while your cooking. They make great little snacks, or additions to granola.
Cut up half of the onion and put it on a sheet pan with the squash. Drizzle each quarter with 1 T of olive oil. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper over each piece.
Rub the oil oveer the squash and onions. Add half of the herbs at this point. I normally don't cut them at this stage, just roughly tear them. Put most of the sage leaves in the "bowls".
Flip the "bowls" over. Having the sage inside of the butternut squash is going to infuse a lot of flavor into these piece because of the steam that's created within them. These pieces are actually going to be used for ravioli.
Place in 450 degree oven for 30 minutes.
Cut the remaining onion into medium dice. Try to keep these pieces as uniform as possible. Having the pieces relatively close in size will help cook them more evenly.
Chop your remaining herbs.
Cut up your kale by gathering all of the leaves together, making one slice down the middle and then chopping into 1/2 inch slices.
You don't have to cut your kale this small, I just like them this size because then you can get a little bit with each bite.
When your timer goes off it's time to take out the "bowls". Remove them carefully, steam will burn you just as easily as boiling water. I like to use tongs when removing them from the pan.
Seal up squash within the aluminum foil and set aside.
To prepare the apples, peel and cut into quarters.
Place apple on its side and slice out the core
Cut pieces in half.
Slice into 1/4 inch pieces.
Put apples on the sheet pan with the other half of the squash and return to the oven for another 15 minutes.
Place on aluminum foil and add roasted onions to them.
People sometimes want to stir things too much. My advice, just put them in the hot pan and let them do their own thing. When you start to smell a caramelized onion, toss them around a bit. Same goes for mushrooms.
When sautéing your onions give them a little time to start caramelizing before you try flipping them. If you're constantly stiring or flipping you're more likely to steam them than get a good caramelization on them.
In a pan start sautéing your onions in 1 T of olive oil. Sauté means "to jump". You don't want to over crowd your pan, because when you try to sauté everything will come jumping out of your pan onto your counters and floors. I like to use a medium-large pan when making this dish.
When your onions have a little color on them throw in your kale. Give it a couple of tosses (sautee or stir with wooden spoon) to get a little oil get on it.
When your timer goes off place the other half of squash face up on cutting board. Leaving the apples on the sheet pan in oven.
Pour half of your stock on the kale and onions.
Pour the other half on the apples that are in the oven.
Slice the squash where the flesh meets the skin. Sounds like a Dexter tutorial now that I read it!
Flip squash over and peel off the skin.
Slice in half horizontally, then vertically.
Then slice into 1/2 inch chunks.
Add squash to onions and kale. You can also add the salt and pepper.
When all of your stock has evaporated add 1 T of butter, let the the butter start to brown a bit before adding the squash.
Let sqaush caramelize a bit, then pull apples from oven.
Carefully pour the apples and stock from sheet pan into the sauté pan.
After you've added the apples finish off with adding the herbs. Give a couple of tosses to incorporate all of the flavors and serve. Add more salt and pepper if needed