Sunday, January 2, 2011

Restorative Kale

After the excess of the holidays, I find myself craving kale. I wrote about kale around this time last year, with a link to all of it's nutritional benefits. It's worth repeating that here. We had a leftover butternut squash that never got made into soup over the holidays, and the Washington Post recently published a recipe that was perfect: Butternut Squash, Kale, and Shitake Casserole. I followed the recipe almost to the letter and it was absolutely delicious. The original recipe is in the link, my modifications are reflected here. (And yes, that is a margarita in the background of the picture above. Everything in moderation.)

Butternut Squash, Kale, and Shitake Mushroom Casserole

1 cup whole-fat coconut milk
4 tablespoons Thai green curry paste
2 teaspoon Chinese chili paste with garlic
1-inch piece peeled ginger root, finely grated or pureed (1 tablespoon)
2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
2 cups of peeled butternut squash, cut into 2-inch pieces
8 ounces shiitake mushroom caps, cut into quarters
1 bunch (9 ounces) kale, center veins removed, leaves torn into large pieces and rinsed and blotted dry
2 tablespoons white sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with olive oil. Use a whisk to combine the coconut milk, Thai curry paste, Chinese chili paste, ginger, and soy sauce or tamari in a large mixing bowl. Add the squash pieces, mushrooms and kale; stir to coat evenly. Transfer the vegetables to the baking dish and sprinkle the top evenly with sesame seeds. Cover with a layer of parchment paper, then seal tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes, then uncover and bake for 25 minutes, or until the squash is fork-tender and the kale on top is dark brown and crisp. Serve warm all by itself, or over rice.

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