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 I originally made this Autumn inspired salad with butternut, but pumpkin would be a delicious and suitable replacement.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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Friendly Foodie Gatherings

It’s no secret I love holidays,  and now that I’m marrying into a Greek family, I’ve discovered this little thing called Greek Easter. It is seriously a feast! Yes, I know that’s not the reason for the season, but it is certainly a highlight for me (hashtag glutton). Anyway, since my family is stateside and Greek Easter is only this coming weekend, this past Easter weekend was festive but we’re saving our selves (and room in our bellies) for the big event.

view

(gorgeous view and beautiful Easter weather)

When it comes to gatherings with friends and family, it’s always nice to offer to bring something. To me it’s a win-win, because it lessens the burden on the host while also giving you the opportunity to provide a healthy something to share. My favorites:

  • Fruit salads / platters
  • Crudites with hummus
  • Butternut Squash Croquettes (these are real crowd-pleasers)
  • A homemade meze platter with roasted vegetables, olives, nuts, etc.
  • Free-range biltong (for informal or sporty gatherings)
  • Hearty salads – this Emerald Salad is a family favorite
  • Libations! Make a healthy sangria with no added sugars, or bring a bottle of bubbly and orange juice for mimosas

On another note, Easter is always pretty special to me, as it marks the weekend I met Matt. This weekend was mine and Matt’s 4th Easter together! Crazy how time flies 🙂

Enjoy your Tuesday!

 

xo,

Natalia