Friday, June 25, 2010

Use Your Booty: Chickpea, Kale & Butternut Squash with Tahini Dressing

Ah kale, I do love it, but it certainly seems like kale and I are going to have to become good friends for me to survive this CSA. Fortunately, that's not really hard to do: First, my CSA is growing nine types of kale this season. Second, kale is pretty versatile - it can be used in so many different ways: bruschetta, a hearty soup, pesto, etc.

This salad's original recipe did not include kale, but since it's such a natural partner to chickpeas and butternut squash, I thought everyone would play nice together. The tahini dressing is nice on its own over roasted vegetables, lamb burgers, or as a dip for vegetables.

Chickpea, Kale and Butternut Squash Salad with Tahini Dressing
Serves 2-3 as an entrée salad, more as a side.
The original recipe, from Moro Restaurant, is here on Orangette, Molly Wizenberg's lovely blog. The recipe is super adaptable: make it work with what you have in the fridge. If you have leftover cooked squash or sweet potatoes, this is a great way to use it.

Enjoy this salad warm, as we did, or cold. If you're going to have it cold, add the dressing right before serving.
  • olive oil
  • 2 cups of cubed butternut squash or sweet potatoes
  • 1 bunch kale, stripped off stiff stems and cut into bite-sized pieces or thin strips
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas (1 15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed or minced
  • 3 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
Sauté the squash with a little olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until the squash is tender. Add the kale to the pan and sauté until wilted, adding a little water to help it steam through. Cook until kale is wilted down, about 5-7 minutes. Add the chickpeas to the pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Make the dressing: Whisk together all the dressing ingredients except the oil and salt & pepper. Whisk until the dressing looks smooth and creamy. Add a little water if it seems too thick. Whisk in the smaller amount of olive oil. Taste the dressing: if it's too sour add more olive oil. Taste again and adjust salt and pepper to your liking. Whisk in a few drops of water if it still seems too thick; it should the consistency of heavy cream.

Divide the salad among plates and drizzle with dressing.

This Summer, I am chronicling my first CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) experience. My CSA share is from Arrowhead Farm, a farm based in Newburyport, MA. Each week, I am posting about what was in my share and what I'm doing with it. By way of full disclosure, I won my share through a raffle and am not paying for it. However, Arrowhead did not know I was entered in the raffle, and I received no special consideration because of this blog. I paid for my livestock share. A full set of all the photos I've taken of this share is here.

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