A New Kind of Salad

Well, to me at least.  The new kind of salad…a WARM salad.  It’s almost incomprehensible…salad, but warm?  Huh.

Hello, by the way! 🙂

I stumbled up this recipe for a Warm Swiss Chard Salad with Butternut Squash while perusing blogs the other day, and felt intrigued.  And slightly enchanted…doesn’t that picture with the original recipe look TASTY!?  So I wrote down the ingredients (making a few substitutions for budgetary purposes) and went shopping!

And this is what I had for dinner last night!

And to be honest, I wasn’t a huge fan.  At least not of the whole thing.  The kale had a nice flavor – the salt and pepper kept it simple while the lemon juice gave it a bright note.  The chicken gave it some staying power, and the cranberries and almonds gave it great texture, not to mention flavor!  And do I need to even talk about the cheese? 😉  But the texture of the kale…it just didn’t do a lot for me.  Maybe I didn’t cook it right?  I’m not sure.  So if you’re a kale connoisseur, please help me out!

First, I threw some frozen butternut squash cubes in the oven to roast.  To prep them, I simply tossed them with a little non-stick spray and S&P.

Towards the end of the cooking time for the squash, I got to work on the kale.  After bathing and drying the kale, I sauteed it with some canola oil, and S&P.  After it softened a bit, I added the chicken strips (precooked), dried cranberries, almond slices and lemon juice.

When the squash had reached the desired done-ness, I placed it in the skillet for a bit with the lid on top…perhaps I overcooked the kale?

After plating it, I added some shredded mozzarella on top.  Loooooove that melted mozz!

So while it wasn’t a total failure, I think it has room for improvement.  I found some other methods for cooking the kale — like sauteeing it with broth.  Or maybe I just needed more oil.  I’ll admit…I’m a bit of an oil-phobe.  😉

Warm Kale Salad

Serves 1

The goods

1/2 cup frozen cubed butternut squash

Salt and Pepper

cooking spray

1 tsp oil

2-3 stalks kale, washed and torn

chunks of pre-cooked chicken

1 tbsp dried cranberries

1 tbsp sliced almonds

lemon juice, to taste

Shredded cheese, as desired

The Method

1. Heat oven to 350; lightly spray squash cubes with cooking spray and add salt and pepper to taste.  Roast 20-25 minutes or until satisfactorily roasted.

2. Meanwhile, wash and tear kale.  When squash is nearly done, heat oil in pan; sautee kale until soft?  Warm? (stir often)  I’m guessing on this part 😉

3. When kale has reached desired done-ness, add chicken, cranberries, almonds and lemon juice.  Cook until heated through.  Add squash and cook an additional 1-2 minutes on low heat, covering pan with lid.

4. Plate and add cheese; add additional S&P if needed.

So that’s that!  I’d really love input on cooking kale…so don’t hesitate 🙂

I’m halfway through my first week back at school post snow-catastrophe…and I’m tired!  I could get used to NOT having class every day…uh oh!  It’s nice to not be confined to the apartment, and have something to do, though.  I think I’ll take that over idleness any day.

  Take care!

Blessings,

Beth

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6 thoughts on “A New Kind of Salad

  1. The restaurant I cook at serves a nearly identical salad to this one. In terms of the recipe, the main difference was replacing the chicken with mushroom (have to cater to those vegetarians).We sautee the mushroom, squash, cranberry, and almond in a brown butter vinagrette. Since the raw kale tends to be too tough to eat, we toss the kale in as the final step, giving it a very light wilting. During these cold winter months, it is by far our most popular salad. Can’t say I’m surprised!

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