Often it’s the simplest dishes that make for the tastiest meals.
Fresh, seasonal ingredients, a pinch of spices and chopped herbs, and really that’s all you need to create a recipe that’s memorable, many times even more memorable than a combination that calls for hours upon hours of cooking.
I’ve been getting into swimming lately, which generally leaves me ravishing upon arriving home.
My patience doesn’t have time for anything fancy when I show up to the kitchen counter. And when I have quality ingredients on-hand, I don’t need anything complicated either.
Luckily, my stockpile of winter squash has been conducive to all of this. A hearty tray of simply seasoned kabocha or a steaming baked sweet potato can really knock the edge off of hunger in a satisfying way. I find this to be one of the richest parts of winter.
This recipe draws upon that heartiness of squash to create a nourishing meal that stays both light and satisfying. Baked with a little spice and tossed over crunchy, massaged kale to ever-so-slightly wilt the leaves, this becomes a powerful salad.
Salty chickpeas top it all off along with a creamy tahini dressing, where you’ll find the strength of fresh herbs kicking in.
Serve with a slice of crusty bread, and feel free to sprinkle a few toasted nuts and seeds on top to give the meal a boost.
- 1 med.-lg. kabocha squash, peeled and cubed (could also sub butternut or 2 acorn squash)
- 2 shallots, sliced into semi-circles
- 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided in half
- Salt and pepper, to season
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1/3 cup tahini
- 1/4 packed cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. warm water, optional
- 15 oz. can chickpeas (opt for ones with salt), drained
- 1/2 bunch of lacinato kale, stems removed, chopped
- Preheat oven to 375F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place squash and shallots on foil, and toss with allspice and 1.5 Tbsp. of olive oil until lightly coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bake 30 minutes, or until squash is fork tender. While squash is baking, whisk together the garlic, lemon juice, tahini, cilantro and pinch of salt and pepper. Mixture should thicken somewhere between a dressing and a paste. If thinner consistency is desired, whisk in a little warm water.
- Use hands to massage kale with remaining 1.5 Tbsp. olive oil.
- Once squash is tender, remove from oven. Add chickpeas to the pan and toss. Place kale at the bottom of a large dish. Spread squash and chickpeas atop. Drizzle tahini sauce on top. Check seasoning, and adjust salt and pepper, if needed. Serve.