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Wild Rice, Roasted Butternut Squash, and Kale with Citrus Curry Dressing | Relishing It

We have had a busy couple of weeks, in the most wonderful way.  We went on an epic vacation to Disney World with our extended family.  There were twelve of us in all– six adults and six children– and it was fantastic,  I’m more than a little sad that this long-planned trip has now come and gone.  Luckily, the transition back to our normal lives here in Minnesota was pretty easy.  We’re having a beautiful fall, with stunning colors and perfect temperatures.  October is my favorite month anyway, and this one is living up to every expectation I’ve ever had.  Both of my sweet little ones celebrate birthdays this month– which makes me love it even more.

Wild Rice, Roasted Butternut Squash, and Kale with Citrus Curry Dressing | Relishing It

As for that getting back into the swing of things, we went to a neighborhood potluck last night where our friends smoked an impressive 36 pounds of pork.  It was ridiculously delicious!  I made this autumnal dish for the get-together and received some nice comments, so I figured I’d share it with you as well.  It’s a cross between a side dish or a salad, or maybe even a main course.  Let’s just call it food, shall we?  It has a wonderful feel of fall to it and contains some of my favorite things.   I fancy rice and squash as a combination, and a few of you may remember this dish from last year? This time I went with the nutty, toothsome, wild rice.  I’ve been tossing it into soups and salads whenever I can.  I also stocked up on Winter squash at the farmers market yesterday, so I figured I’d add some in as well.

Wild Rice, Roasted Butternut Squash , and Kale with Citrus Curry Dressing | Relishing It

Wild Rice, Roasted Butternut Squash, and Kale with Citrus Curry Dressing | Relishing It

Wild Rice, Roasted Butternut Squash, and Kale with Citrus Curry Dressing | Relishing It

Then I decided to make this delicious citrus curry dressing to pour on top of everything.  I’d been dreaming about this dressing after having recently gone out to lunch with a couple girlfriends.  This dressing was on all of our salads and it was insanely delicious.  (No worries, ladies– I think I’ve got it down.  Or something very close and fantastically delicious in it’s own right.) The dressing’s base is orange juice that has been reduced to amp up its flavor.  The curry addition makes it unique and almost addictive.  Bite after bite, you’ll keep wanting more.  I also decided to add some kale into the mix, since I had a bit left from my final CSA box.  I massaged it first with a tiny drizzle of olive oil and salt for about 3-5 minutes.  Massaging kale helps it soften a bit, and in this dish, it is worth the little extra effort.

Wild Rice, Roasted Butternut Squash, and Kale with Citrus Curry Dressing | Relishing It

Wild Rice, Roasted Butternut Squash, and Kale with Citrus Curry Dressing | Relishing It

I came across some wonderful honey goat cheese at our co-op and knew it would work perfectly in this dish.  Wow!  There is a smidge of honey in the dressing, so it tied in beautifully.  Of course regular goat cheese would work fine, too.  I topped the dish with coarsely-chopped roasted and salted hazelnuts, but walnuts or even almonds would serve the purpose, too.  Anything that provides a little crunch for texture. The dish can be served warm, but I prefer it at room temperature.  Which makes it a perfect make-ahead dish for the holidays.  Hope you are all doing well– enjoy!

Wild Rice, Roasted Butternut Squash, and Kale with Citrus Curry Dressing | Relishing It

The Recipe: Wild Rice, Roasted Butternut Squash, and Kale with Citrus Curry Dressing

1 cup uncooked wild rice

1 medium-large butternut squash, peeled and cut into small cubes

1 1/2- 2 cups coarsely chopped kale (any variety will work)

roasted and salted hazelnuts, for garnish (about 1/2-3/4 cup)

crumbled honey goat cheese (or regular), for garnish (about 1/2 cup)

olive oil

kosher salt and cracked pepper

For the Citrus Curry Dressing:

1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, from 2 oranges  (Valencia worked great)

1 tablespoon finely minced shallot or red onion

1 garlic clove, finely minced

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon honey

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

2 teaspoons sweet curry powder

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

kosher salt and cracked pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Place the diced butternut squash on a large rimmed baking sheet and coat with a little bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Roast for about 20-25 minutes, or until tender.  Turn the squash once while roasting.  The amount of roasting time will depend on how big or small the squash pieces were cubed, so keep a watchful eye.  Remove from oven when tender and let cool a bit.  Squash that is really hot is fragile and will fall apart more easily.

Meanwhile, rinse the wild rice in water and place into a large saucepan with 4 cups of cold water a little salt.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.  The rice should be tender after about 45 minutes.  Then drain the remaining water and fluff with a fork.  Let cool for a bit. This method uses a bit more water than usual, but helps in that you don’t have to keep such a watchful eye so it doesn’t burn.

To make the dressing, begin by placing the orange juice into a small saucepan and reduce (uncovered) over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, or until 1/3 cup orange juice remains.  Stir often. Let cool.  Then you may begin making the dressing by using one of two methods.  The first method uses an immersion blender (which I couldn’t live without).  Place all of the dressing ingredients into a tall cylinder shaped container (my blender came with one) and pulse a few times with an immersion blender until the dressing is uniform and well blended.  If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can simply use the bowl and whisk method to make the dressing (or even shake in a lidded jar).   Add all of the ingredients to the bowl, except the olive oil.  Mix together, and then slowly whisk in the olive oil.  Season with kosher salt and cracked pepper.  You may be surprised that you’ll have to add a bit of salt to bring out the flavor of the dressing.

Add the coarsely chopped kale to a medium-sized bowl and drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil and salt. Massage kale for a few minutes until it is tender and has wilted a bit.

When all of the ingredients are ready, add them to a huge serving platter or bowl.  Pour half of the dressing over everything and gently mix.  Taste.  Add more dressing if you like.  Season with salt and pepper.  Then top with crumbled goat cheese and chopped roasted hazelnuts.  I prefer this dish at room temperature.  Refrigerate leftovers.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!

Laurie

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Socca— also called farinata or cecina– is an unleavened pancake made from chickpea flour.  It originated in Italy, and has a distinct earthy flavor that sublimely compliments all sorts of savory toppings.  Aside from tasting fantastic, socca has the added benefit of being gluten-free.  And while I’m not gluten-intolerant, I have been trying to go easy on my intake.  I like that they are so versatile and can be topped with any number of ingredients.  This dish is one of my favorite ways to enjoy them.

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Here I’ve added kale, sausage, and squash as toppings to the socca.  The flavor combination is magnificent.  Roasted sweet potato is another nice option.  And the buttermilk vinaigrette stands out just enough to tie everything together without overwhelming the dish.  It’s made with an apple cider vinegar that compliments the other flavors remarkably well.  The vinaigrette calls for raw egg yolk, which you can opt to leave it out, if you like.  I’ve noticed that this changes the texture a fair amount– it’s not as rich and silky.  Personally, I recommend making the dressing with the yolk, but make sure to use it up right away as it won’t keep long in the refrigerator– which won’t be a problem once you taste it.  It’s that good.

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This is a meal that comes together rather quickly as long as you manage your time wisely.  As in many dishes, a little bit of preparation goes a long way.  One thing to note, like typical pancake batters, you’ll get the best results if you let the water absorb into the flour for a couple of hours.  Even so, if you don’t have time to let it rest, it’ll still be fine.  Perhaps not quite as amazing, but good nonetheless.  Socca is great to try if you are gluten-intolerant or just want to change up your routine a bit.  It is loaded with protein and is a nice healthy choice for you and your family.  Hope you give it a try!

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The Recipe:  Socca with Squash, Kale, and Italian Sausage topped with a Buttermilk Vinaigrette

Serves 4 people

Socca (Chickpea Pancakes)

2 cups chickpea flour

1 3/4 cups water

1 egg

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 tablespoon olive oil

sprinkle of sea salt

Medium-sized butternut squash, peeled and cubed

1 pound sweet Italian sausage, browned

1 bunch of Lacinato kale (also called Tuscan or Dino), washed and cut into thin ribbons

olive oil

Buttermilk Vinaigrette:

3/4 cup canola oil

1 egg yolk

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 garlic clove

3 tablespoons buttermilk

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

salt and pepper

To make the Socca: Combine the chickpea flour, water, egg, olive oil, smoked paprika, and salt in a large bowl.  If possible, let mixture rest in the refrigerator for 2 hours, so that the water can absorb adequately into the flour.  Though, I’ve made them without doing this step, and they were still fine.   When ready to make the socca, heat a large skillet on medium-high heat.  Put a thin coating of olive oil on it and a sprinkle of kosher salt.  Pour the batter into the pan and cook until tiny bubbles appear in the batter.  Flip the pancake.  Repeat until the batter is gone, re-coating the pan with olive oil, as needed.

Things to do beforehand:  Make the Buttermilk Vinaigrette.  Combine all the ingredients, except the oil in a blender.  Slowly add the oil while the blender is running.  Refrigerate for about an hour and then re-blend.  This will thicken the vinaigrette up even more.  Re-season with salt and pepper, if necessary.

Prepare a medium-sized butternut squash by peeling it and cutting into cubes.  Coat with a splash of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.  Place on a baking sheet and bake at  400°F for about 25 minutes, or until tender.  Tossing a couple of times while baking.   Set aside.

Brown the Italian sausage, drain grease and set aside.  Right before the socca is ready to be cooked, sauté the kale in a hot skillet with a thin coating of olive oil.  Cook for just a minute or so.  The kale will wilt just slightly.  Sprinkle with sea salt.

Assemble the pancakes by topping with the kale, sausage, and squash.  Drizzle the buttermilk vinaigrette on top.  Enjoy!

Buttermilk Vinaigrette was inspired by Chef Adam Vickerman from Cafe Levain in Minneapolis, MN

Thanks for stopping by today!  xo

Laurie

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G-R-E-E-N-M-A-C-H-I-N-E  Green Machine, Green Machine, Gooo….Green Machine!  This was the chant that my husband and all of his friends would yell when they were young boys playing little league baseball.  Somehow it has stuck around, though it now only is hollered on those rare occasions that Radd gets together with old friends and has a few (too many) beers.  Boys are odd.  In any case, I’ve co-opted the name for this uber healthy drink that is perfect for reviving you from that post-Thanksgiving feast coma.  “Green Machine” just rolls off the tongue more easily than “Pear, Kale, and Spinach Smoothie”.

This drink makes you feel good.  It’s loaded with delicious and nutritious greens and sweet juicy pears.  I’ve made a similar version of this smoothie with other fruits, but keep coming back to the pears.  They add the perfect smooth texture.  A few times a week I blend one of these smoothies up for lunch.  It’s filling, and to be honest, very addicting.  The flavor of the greens is present, but in a subtle way– not overpowering at all.  The banana brings it all together by adding a little more natural sweet silkiness.  I drink mine from a freezer-chilled glass mug, and it’s oh-so refreshing and good for you.  Give this one a try– you body will thank you!

The Recipe: Green Machine / Pear, Kale, and Spinach Smoothie

Serves 1

1 cup unsweetened cold almond milk

1 cup spinach

1 cup chopped kale, stems removed (any type works fine, I prefer curly kale)

1 pear, cut into large slices

1/2 banana, cut into chunks

Blend the almond milk, spinach, and kale together until smooth.  Add the pear and banana and blend again until almost uniform.  Feel free to add more or less almond milk, depending upon how thick you like it.  Serve in a chilled glass.  Enjoy!

Source:  Adapted from Joy the Baker

As always, thanks for stopping by Relishing It!

Laurie

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I’ve been known to daydream about travelling.  I do this a lot, and I’m guessing it has something to do with growing up in one of the most-rural areas of the country.  My Dad is the same way.  In our daily phone call, we often talk about where we would take a big family vacation if money were no object.  The destination-of-the-day almost always revolves around cuisine (surprise!).   It’s all in the family, I guess.  For me, the pinnacle would be Paris.  I know, I know– pick the obvious, right?  But the food!  The wine!  The history and culture!  Sadly, jetting off to France isn’t in the cards right now, so this week I’ve decided to bring a bit to my kitchen.

  

This dessert–that’s right, even with those greens this is a dessert– is definitely French.  You wouldn’t normally see it here in the US.  I found it in a beautiful cookbook by David Tanis, called–Heart of the Artichoke and Other Kitchen Journeys.   Tanis is the co-chef at one of the most well-known, well-respected, restaurants in the United States, Chez Panisse.    He’s been there since the 1980’s, though he spends six months at the restaurant in California, and lives the other six months in Paris.  Sounds like a good gig.  He’ll soon be leaving Chez Panisse in order to write  a column for the New York Times that I’m really looking forward to reading.  When Tanis wrote that the odd combination of ingredients in this recipe make a dessert that tastes fantastic, I figured I had to give it a try.

Though the title says it’s a tart, the texture is that of a cake– the baking powder makes it puff while baking.  This is a traditional dessert in the south of France and Italy (alright, perhaps it’s not Parisian, but it’s my daydream.)  Tanis’ recipe calls for Swiss Chard– which I really like– but I’ve been trying to figure out new ways to use use kale, so I made the substitution.  They are similar greens, and the result was excellent.  The kale was delicious, while the ricotta and warm spice added a firm texture and balanced sweetness.  The pine nuts– now these were the the star in this tart.  No substitutions here.  They add a subtle, nutty flavor and lend a nice crunch.  This unique dessert is remarkable.  It’s not savory, but subtly sweet.    Give it a try, you’ll like it.

The Recipe:  Kale and Ricotta Tart

For the Dough:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 cup sugar

pinch of salt

8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold butter, cut into small pieces

1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon milk

Grated zest of  1/2 lemon

For the Filling:

1 large bunch of kale,  ribs discarded, chopped  (about 4 cups)

1 cup ricotta cheese (I used part-skim, but the original recipe calls for whole-milk)

2 eggs

1/4 cup sugar  (I reduced from 1/3 cup from the original recipe –it was perfectly sweet for me)

Grated zest of 1/2 lemon

1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/2 cup golden raisins, soaked in warm water until plumped

1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

To make the dough, in the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the dry ingredients on low speed.  Add the butter and mix for about 2 minutes more, until crumbly.  Add the egg mixture and the lemon zest and mix another minute, or until you can pinch the dough together.  Turn the dough out and form 2 balls, one twice as big as the other ( use a kitchen scale, if you have one).  Chill for at least an hour.

To make the filling, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Blanch the kale for 1 minute; drain well.  Let cool, and squeeze out any liquid.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  In a small bowl, whisk together the ricotta, 1 egg, sugar, lemon zest, and spices.

Dust a pastry cloth with flour and roll out the larger dough ball into a circle 2 inches larger than the diameter of your 9- or 10-inch spring form pan.  Roll the dough onto the rolling pin, then carefully unroll it over the pan and gently press it into place, so that it comes about 2-inches up the sides of the pan.  Expect the dough to be pretty soft; if it tears, just press on a scrap to cover any holes.

Drain the raisins, mix them with the greens, and spread over the dough in the pan.  Pour the ricotta mixture over the greens and smooth out.  Sprinkle the pine nuts over the ricotta.

To make the lattice top, roll out the second piece of dough into a 1/8 -inch-thick rectangle.  Cut the dough into 3/4-inch-wide strips.  Fashion a lattice top by alternating crosswise and lengthwise strips.  Leave a gap of 3/4 inch between strips running in the same direction.

Fold the edges of the bottom crust over the ends of the lattice strips.  Whisk remaining egg in a small bowl for an egg wash.  Using a pastry brush, gently coat the tart with the egg.  Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the crust is golden.

Cool on a rack before serving.  Enjoy!

Source: Adapted from Heart of the Artichoke and Other Kitchen Journeys by David Tanis

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It today….as always, I appreciate hearing your feedback.

Laurie

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