I know, I’ve made a lot of kale lately. It’s my vegetable of choice this time of year, especially when the internet (and even my kitchen, a little bit) is full of sugary, buttery foods. With so much indulgence, I feel the need for balance… but tasty balance…
This was going to be a raw kale salad, but I changed my mind at the last minute because I was craving something warm and cozy. I roasted my kale in the oven… a method I especially love because it creates two textures in the salad… hearty wilted kale mixed with some lighter crispy pieces.
Kale leaves go perfectly with a creamy tahini dressing. And because I live with a cheese lover, I made mine with some shaved pecorino (not to worry, I also list a vegan alternative). The leftover dressing is great the next day on toast, sandwiches, another salad, you know the extra-dressing drill.
To make it a meal I added some tempeh. I quickly cooked it in a pan with balsamic, soy and a little bit of honey until it got a nice caramelized char. It adds a bacon-esque flavor, but if you’re a meat eater, some crispy pancetta would go nicely in here instead.
Panzanella is one of my favorite summertime salads, so I thought why not make a fall version using some stuffing-esque ingredients. Instead of juicy tomatoes, I sautéed some mushrooms and added tangy dried cranberries. Instead of sweet basil, I used woodsy sage. I normally toss pine nuts in my panzanella, but hazelnuts have been my nut of choice this fall, so I toasted those up instead.
I tossed it all with grilled bread and a tangy vinaigrette and served it along side some grilled salmon. Jack’s conclusion (as we devoured the whole bowl) was “well it’s not stuffing, and it’s not panzanella… but it’s somewhere in the middle and it’s really good.”
In one version or another, we’ve probably eaten this salad five times in the last couple of weeks. I know everyone’s sort of hooked on sweet potatoes at the moment, and I guess I’m no different…
Two things I love most about sweet potatoes are: 1. They take less strength and finger-losing risk than butternut squash… and 2. once you pop them in the oven, the house almost instantly smells like Thanksgiving.
Now that it’s been a little bit colder here, this has been the perfect soul-warming kind of meal to cozy up to with a bottle of red wine.
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I’ve been anxiously awaiting the US release of Ottolenghi’s newest book, Jerusalem… So I couldn’t have been more excited the day it showed up on my doorstep last week.
I don’t know how you like to approach a new cookbook, but I like to start with a fast flip… trying to devour as much as I can all at one time. Later on during my second pass, I’ll settle down and take in the stories, reading through the recipes much more carefully than I did the first time around…
This time I fast-flipped, intently looking to see if this recipe would be included. On our last afternoon in London, we went to Ottolenghi’s Islington restaurant just prior to racing off to the airport. The wait for a table was too long and it was a (lucky) gorgeous sunny day, so we got piles of takeaway food and had a picnic in a nearby park.
Which sounds picturesque… and really it was… only I wanted to try so many things, and we were incredibly short on time. In 20 minutes or less, we consumed pounds of food… a tomato and burrata salad, roasted beets, green beans & peas, kohlrabi slaw, a couple of sweet pistachio & polenta cakes… and this cauliflower salad which was our favorite.
For a glimpse of the book, watch this trailer with Yotam and Sami, and start drooling.
Or take a look at this pdf preview of the book which includes a few recipes.
xoxo to Ten Speed Press for sending me an advance copy.
Let’s just call this a seasonal transitional dish. It’s like wearing shorts with a chunky sweater because you’re not quite sure if you are warm or cold, and most days you’re a little bit of both. This tahini sauce is rich and creamy… while the cold zucchini noodles are on the lighter side.
I got the idea from this pin that caught my eye… which led me to the blog Earthsprout, a beautiful raw food blog with some amazing recipes.
To be honest, I wasn’t sure Jack was going to be into this one. Don’t get me wrong, he’s not a finicky eater and he loves the food I cook… I just thought maybe I had gone over the top this time. This is a lot of veggies for one bowl, after all (there’s kale in here too)… but he really loved it.
If you don’t have a vegetable spiraler or a julienne peeler, (or zucchinis for that matter) feel free to sub in rice noodles or whatever kind of pasta you like.
I had a bit of leftover sauce which was especially delicious on the avocado sandwiches that I ate for lunch the rest of the week.