Monday, October 24, 2011

~Delicata Squash Salad with Kale and Cranberry Beans~




Ingredients

Serves 4
  • 2 medium delicata squashes (about 2 pounds), halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 bunch kale (5 ounces), large stems removed, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 can (15 ounces) cranberry or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut squashes into 1/2-inch-thick semicircles. Toss with 1 teaspoon oil, and spread onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until just tender, 15 to 18 minutes. Mix together balsamic vinegar and honey. Brush some of the mixture onto squash slices; reserve remaining mixture. Bake for 5 minutes more.
  2. Meanwhile, place kale in a large bowl. Heat remaining tablespoon oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot and garlic, and cook until slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Add red-wine vinegar and remaining vinegar-honey mixture to saucepan, and bring to a boil. Immediately pour hot dressing over kale, and sprinkle with salt. Season with pepper. Add squash and beans. Cover with plastic, and let stand for 5 minutes. Toss until kale wilts slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.
From Martha Stewart Living, October 2009


Read more at Wholeliving.com: Delicata Squash Salad with Kale and Cranberry Beans


Morgan's Minute...or Two


Toddlers breed germs.  Germs somehow know exactly where children live and they travel in giant armies to their homes, I'm sure of it!  The germs kept dancing from one person to the next and then strangely transformed into another virus or bacteria.  The new and improved versions were becoming experts at dancing and they were now moving on to doing the Waltz right here in my house.  Can you believe it?

Being forced to slow down has reminded me to move from this:


Life in the fast lane.  Going a mile a minute.  Busy like a bee.  Doing it all.  Being Miss Perfect.  Taking on too much. 

To the following way of Living:



On the other hand, we can live life in the slow lane and still get to our destination.  It is OK to complete the mile at our own speed.  Simply being is most important. Giving it our best is being perfect.  Being Miss Flaw-less is much more sexy than her evil twin.  Taking on less of what we don't like is perfectly acceptable. 

Until next time, Live Well.

Morgan


It's a good thing...or is it?

Hooray for squash season!  Squash has always piqued my interest. Their wide assortment of shapes, textures, colors and flavors are what makes them not only a desirable decoration, but an important fall addition to soups, salads, entrees, side dishes and more.     

With a name like delicata, it definitely conjures up, at least in my mind, an image of a soft, sweet and tender-flavored squash.  In fact, that is exactly what it tasted like.  The typical "squashy" flavor that is common with zucchini, or with spaghetti squash is not present in delicata. I happened to notice more of the soft texture, buttery, nut-like flavor.   

As far as the other flavors go, they added their typical qualities to the salad.  But the sauce! I loved the perfect blend of sweet honey, mildly tart balsamic vinegar, and the mouth-puckering red-wine vinegar.  The flavors created a marriage of sweet and tart flavors that balanced one another in a harmonious manner. 

Hey, don't people say that achieving balance and harmony are one of life's biggest challenges?  As for me, I'm going to keep it simple.  Maybe the journey to achieving balance is closer to home than we might have expected?  





Photo Gallery

Here are the delicata squashes.  Before making this salad, I was unfamiliar with delicata but after tasting this squash, it is one of my favorites.  The mild, tender flavor allows it to pair nicely with a wide range of other foods.
Sliced, seeded and oiled it is now ready to cook at 400 degrees for 18 minutes.
The kale acts as the lettuce in the salad. It gets chopped into 1-inch slices.
Hot from the oven, the delicata emerges cooked and lightly brushed with the honey-balsamic sauce.  Now it's ready for slicing.
I placed the kale into a large  bowl and added the sauce, shallots and garlic over the top.  Next, I added the delicata and mixed again.
I served this with a nice, hot bowl of brown rice and dinner was served!  As expected, the little ones picked through the salad and mostly ate the beans and the rice.  However, Ben, Jordan and I enjoyed the salad.  The following day, we brought this with us on our hike and it was even better. 



~Dinner Was Served~





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