Author Notes: Packing an oh-so-trendy kale salad for lunch can be a bit of pain: the greens are so voluminous, and difficult to eat with the kind of plastic utensil dedicated to brown bagging. But what if you still want your leafy greens at midday? Enter this oven-wilted kale "salad," complete with chunks of sweet potato for heft, roasted broccoli for extra cruciferous deliciousness, and built-in dressing in the form of olive oil and lemon juice. It's great warm out of the oven or cold three days later in your lunchbox. I imagine some shaved pecorino on top would be lovely, but I didn't have any in the house.
The recipe is, of course, infinitely adaptable: sweet potatoes for winter squash, broccoli for cauliflower, lemon juice for balsamic, add your favorite spice blends. So many possibilities! (I've tried it with cauliflower, as the photos show, and it's delicious. Keep in mind, though, that a head of cauliflower tends to yield more florets than a standard bunch of broccoli). —summersavory
small sweet potatoes, or two medium (a little under 1.5 lbs)
bunches curly kale
juice from 1/2 a lemon
salt and pepper
- Start by preheating the oven to 400F. Peel the sweet potatoes and chop them into cubes or rectangular prisms with dimensions around 1/2 an inch. Prep the broccoli by cutting the crowns into small florets, bite-sized. Remove the tough stems of the kale and chop into manageable pieces for eating.
- Toss the sweet potato pieces with about a tablespoon of olive oil and spread them out on a parchment or silpat-lined baking sheet (this makes cleaning much easier). Roast the potatoes in the oven for about 12 minutes, or until they begin to soften. In the meantime, toss the broccoli florets with another glug of olive oil. When the sweet potatoes are softened, stir them around a bit to make sure they cook evenly, and then add the broccoli to the baking sheet. Roast the broccoli and potatoes together for another 10-15 minutes, until the potatoes have begun to brown a bit. While that's happening, massage your chopped kale by squeezing it in your hands until its voluminousness is under control. When the broccoli and potatoes are ready, pile the kale on top. It'll be a thick layer of greens, and it may seem ridiculous, but so long as you're careful in sliding the pan in and out of the oven it'll be fine. If you're afraid to put all the kale on at once, put as much as you can, and save the rest for a second round.
- Let the kale roast along with the broccoli and potatoes (buried beneath the greenery) for about 4 minutes. It should have shrunk down significantly by this time, although it'll still be a lot of biomass. Stir it around as best you can, paying special attention to rotating stuff from the middle to the edges (the edges dry out more, while the middle, if left to its own devices, can be a bit soggy). If you didn't add all the kale at the beginning, throw the rest on now. Let it all cook for another 5 or 6 minutes, then take the tray out of the oven. Sprinkle the lemon juice over the whole thing, and add salt and pepper to taste. Toss it all to make sure the seasoning gets everywhere-in particular, you'll want to make sure that the broccoli and potatoes come up from the bottom and get their fair share of the lemon and salt. Serve warm right off the tray, or let it cool for at least 10 minutes on the the tray before packing it up for leftovers.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Vegan Recipe
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Picnic Recipe
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Dark, Leafy Greens