Consider this a California version of braised kale. In the South, they cook greens with a little pork fat until it’s soft and delicious. Here, we use olive oil and finish with sherry— it’s equally good, just different than what you might usually expect. It’s bright and fresh, sort of like sun-drenched blonde jogging along the coastline. It’s a slew of treasures served up in braised goodness- red kale, creamy roasted butternut squash, spiced chickpeas, crunchy pomegranate seeds and the tang of feta- what’s not to like? —eat-drink-garden
red kale, about 8 cups –packed, stems removed
olive oil, divided
1 1/2 cups
cloves garlic, sliced thin
chile de arbol (stem removed)
can chickpeas, drained and rinsed or 2 cup chickpeas
Place a Dutch oven on medium high heat; add half the oil, garlic and chile and cook until garlic is fragrant, about two minutes. Next, add the kale and toss in the hot oil mixture coating the kale, do this for about one minute. Stir in the sherry vinegar, water, salt and cover.
Turn heat down to low and cook for 10 minutes. Using tongs remove the kale and garlic to a plate. Leave juices in the pan but discard chile de arbol. Turn the heat to high and reduce the liquid by half, carefully reserving for later use.
Wipeout the pan and add the remaining olive oil and add cumin and cinnamon and toast on medium high heat for one to two minutes—add the chickpeas and stir to incorporate and cook until warm, about five minutes.
Add 1 tablespoon of the reserved reduced liquid, butternut squash, and kale. Stir gently, you don’t want your butternut squash to get too man handled.
Add the warmed kale mixture to a large platter and garnish with pomegranate seeds, feta and cilantro. Drizzle with top shelf olive oil to finish and serve.
*Roast cubed butternut squash in a 375 degree oven on a sheet pan tossed with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste for 30 -40 minutes, until golden brown.
I produce the Santa Barbara based blog Eat Drink Garden. The inspiration for every meal, for every cocktail, and for every blog entry is from my garden. I learned a few years ago that if you choose seasonal fruits and vegetables, you don't need to do too much to them in order to make them beautiful and delicious every time.