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Browned Butter Kale Salad with Hazelnuts and Pears

Browned butter brussels sprout salad 3 Browned Butter Kale Salad with Hazelnuts and Pears

Kale salad is more in keeping with the season, yes? For those sighing heavily at the suggestion of more kale, what if I imbue it with warm browned butter? You know, instead of the oil that you’d normally douse it with.

Browned butter brussels sprout salad 2 Browned Butter Kale Salad with Hazelnuts and Pears

Perhaps you already know the trick of massaging your raw kale leaves with olive oil, which loosens up the leaves a bit, mellowing them out and making them easier to eat. Drizzling them with warm, just-browned butter does the same – it tames the kale, dialing it down toward cooked, but still raw. It’s easier on the teeth, and to pile onto your fork. Which you’ll want to do.

Browned Butter Browned Butter Kale Salad with Hazelnuts and Pears

To brown butter, all you need to do is melt it, then leave it on the stove a little longer, swirling the pan occasionally, until the foam starts to turn nutty and brown. The result is like butter supreme – the milk solids toasty, the whole lot salty and amplified. A squeeze of lemon adds the acid it needs, making it more like a salad than buttered veg, but letting the browned butter be the hero.

Browned butter brussels sprout salad 1 Browned Butter Kale Salad with Hazelnuts and Pears

This would do well with apples or pears, goat cheese or blue cheese, toasted walnuts or almonds, but I had extra aged Gouda that had dried out almost to the point of Parmesan, and hazelnuts just seemed like a good idea.

Browned Butter Kale Salad with Hazelnuts and Pears

½ bunch kale, leaves removed and thinly sliced
4-5 Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced or shaved (discard stem ends) – optional
¼ cup butter
1-2 Tbsp. lemon juice
salt and pepper, to taste
1 ripe but firm pear, chopped
½ cup roughly chopped hazelnuts, almonds or walnuts, toasted
¼-1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese or aged Gouda

Put the kale and Brussels sprouts in a bowl. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat; continue cooking, swirling the pan occasionally, until the foam starts turning golden and nutty-smelling. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.

Pour over the kale, scraping out the bottom of the pan to get all those browned bits, and toss to coat well. Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

Add the pear, hazelnuts and Parmesan cheese, toss and serve. Serves 4.

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January 14 2014 | salads and vegetarian | 12 Comments »

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette

butternut salad 2 Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette

I’ve decided after close to an hour that I don’t have much to say about this salad, except that it’s tasty, and I’ll be making it again.

My backyard greens have long since frozen solid, and I’m back to buying bins of the stuff, which mostly tend to sit in wait and go slimy in the fridge, not only because I’ve been away a lot but because I’m less inspired to eat a salad than usual. Comes with the snow, I guess – I’d rather be scooping up baked Brie with a crusty baguette.

butternut salad 1 Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette

I came home today and turned the oven on to warm the house up, and decided that if I roasted some winter veggies, I would eat them. And after the past few weeks, I could do with filling up on veggies. Turns out a butternut squash makes as fab a salad as a roasted beet – had I had goat cheese, I would have used it, but big curls of sharp Parm did the trick. Add a sweet, vinegary dressing and crunchy walnuts and you have a winner. I love that the roasted squash is still warm, and that a salad can be warm, and more interesting to eat than a pureed soup.

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette

Adapted from the Barefoot Contessa

1 butternut squash, peeled and diced
olive oil
1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup apple cider or juice
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 shallot, minced
2 tsp grainy mustard
spring greens or baby arugula
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan or 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Place the butternut squash on a sheet pan. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, the maple syrup, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and toss. Roast the squash for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until tender. Add the cranberries to the pan for the last 5 minutes.

While the squash is roasting, combine the apple cider, vinegar, and shallots in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the cider is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Off the heat, whisk in the mustard, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.

Place the arugula in a large salad bowl and add the roasted squash mixture, the walnuts, and the grated Parmesan. Spoon just enough vinaigrette over the salad to moisten and toss well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

pixel Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette
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November 17 2013 | salads | 7 Comments »

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