Autumn Salad

We’ve recently had a cold front come through the Lowveld, the mountains are looking particularly misty and there is a serious nip in the air. I don’t mind, subconsciously late September to me is still the beginnings of Autumn not Spring, and along with most of the USA, I’ve been having a hankering for pumpkin-flavored everything.

Butternut is often my pumpkin substitute in certain dishes because it is readily available and equally delicious. When the weather cools down, I love the idea of a warm salad with wilted greens with roasted vegetables. I originally made this Autumn inspired salad with butternut, but pumpkin would be a delicious and suitable replacement. This salad is tangy with a bit of sweet from the maple syrup and caramelized onions, and it also has that roasty flavor from the root vegetables. It is very nutritious and would make an excellent side or main dish.

Autumn Salad

Autumn Salad

serves 3-4

for the salad:

1 large head of kale

2-3 cups of raw cubed butternut

3 cubed beetroots

1 tablespoon of olive or coconut oil, plus 1 teaspoon

1 onion

salt and pepper

for the dressing:

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 tablespoons of white wine vinegar

1 tsp of maple syrup

  1. Preheat your oven to 200C/400F
  2. Wash and dry the beetroots and cut off the stems. You can peel the beetroots if you want to, I never do though because I like the crispy skin once they’re roasted. Chop the beetroots, and place them in a bowl.
  3. Wash and cube the butternut and add to the bowl with the beetroots.
  4. Drizzle one tablespoon of the olive or coconut oil over the butternut and beetroot and toss. Season with salt and pepper and place on a baking tray. Roast for 35-40 minutes, or until cooked.
  5. While the vegetables are roasting, start caramelizing your onion. Cut the ends of the onion and slice in half through the root. Slice the onion thinly lengthwise.
  6. Heat the other teaspoon of olive or coconut oil in a saute pan, and add your onions. Gently saute the onions for about 10 minutes, reduce the heat if you see them burning or drying out. Season with salt and continue to saute for another 10 minutes or until you are happy with their consistency. True caramelization takes a bit longer, but it’s up to you.
  7. Rinse and chop the kale. Add the chopped kale to the onions and saute until only slightly wilted. The water from the kale will have a light steaming effect on the greens, you can even put a cover over the pan for a minute to speed up the process. Don’t leave it on the heat too long though, it should only have a slight wilt, not be fully steamed.
  8. Mix the dressing ingredients together, pour and toss the roasted vegetables and kale/onion mix together very gently, serve immediately.
  9. Enjoy!

 

Hope you give it a shot… and stay warm!

 

xo,

Natalia

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Friday Delight: Fish Tacos and Buckwheat Tortillas

On Wednesday we joined some friends from Joburg that were visiting the Lowveld, for lunch at Picasso’s. Being American and growing up with authentic Mexican restaurants all around me, I’m pretty picky about the Mexican fare in South Africa. For years, the Mexican restaurants I encountered tasted more like TexMex, or were spiced with things like curry (what???). Then along came El Burro in Cape Town, Perron in Johannesburg, and now Picassos’ in White River. These are all tasty restaurants, and the margaritas are top notch at all three. So, a totally random thing to find here in White River, but also totally delicious.

Anyway, this meal reminded me of the Valentine’s day meal I made for Matt. I really really love fish tacos (fortunately, so does he…) and this meal was fresh, healthy, and definitely worth making again. The menu included:

  • Broiled fish with a homemade rub
  • Raw beetroot slaw
  • Mango Salad
  • All served with Buckwheat tortillas (I used this recipe), Guacamole, and greens

fish tacos

(yes, I made the tortillas heart-shaped. don’t judge)

Fish and Fish Rub

4 fillets (around 100g each) of white fish (I used Hake)

1 tsp of chile powder

1-2 tsp of paprika

1/2 tsp of cumin

1 clove of garlic or 1/4 tsp of garlic powder

1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper

salt & pepper

Mix everything together, it should be enough for the 4 small fillets. Grease a pan and bake the fish until cooked through. Remove from Oven and flake.

Raw Beetroot Slaw

2 large or 3 small beetroots

1-2 carrots

lime juice

3 TBS of Salsa Verde (I use Mrs. Renfro’s)

1 dollop of plain yogurt (Greek or Coconut, just make sure it’s nice and thick)

salt & pepper

Grate the beetroots and carrot. Mix lime juice, yogurt, and salsa verde in a separate bowl, season with salt and pepper. Pour the mixture of the grated vegetables and toss until evenly coated.

Mango Salad (this recipe was borrowed from a friend)

1 large mango, cubed

1/2 a red onion, chopped

handful of cilantro/coriander, chopped

Juice of one lime

Mix all ingredients together and serve.

Let me know if you give it a shot!

xo,

Natalia