Last week M and I had an early dinner at a local restaurant (Lincoln Park) and I ordered a really fantastic salad. I wanted to recreate it and maybe add my own spin to the mix. Their salad was kale, butternut squash, blood oranges and beets in a cumin dressing. It was perfect for that night but for me to feed our little family, it needed a bit more heft. So I made it as follows:
- 2 bunches of kale
- butternut squash
- blood oranges
- 1 can of sliced beets
- 2 bags of frozen, cooked, tailless shrimp
- 1 lime
- 3 meyer lemons
- mustard powder
- 2 tbs unsalted, hulled sunflower seeds
- Brianna’s French Vinaigrette
First things first, I turned the oven on to 425. Next step was to wash and tear the kale into small pieces in a large bowl. I then zested three meyer lemons with my microplane into a separate bowl and then juiced those lemons over the kale, making sure all of the kale had lemon juice on it. I then let it sit knowing I would come back to it in 20 minutes or so and massage the kale to make it less tough. The woman who had cut my hair less than an hour earlier had told me that this was the key to delicious kale.
Next I peeled and cut the butternut squash into 1 inch cubes and, onto a silpat covered cookie sheet, covered them in olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin and mustard powder. I mixed them all up together to make sure they were evenly coated and into the oven they went.
Onto the blood oranges! With a very sharp knife I cut off the ends and cut off the skin, revealing the ruby red interior. Once peeled, I turned the orange on its side and cut them into slices. If the orange had an extra white pith, I popped it out of the center. Setting those aside, I opened the can of beets, poured them into a strainer over the sink and rinsed them with cold water briefly. I then roughly chopped them into 1 inch chunks, setting them aside when finished.
After checking on the butternut squash, turning the pieces over, I went on to massage the kale. Get your hands in there and really rub on it. It will feel and look strange. Do it. It is worth it. I massaged my kale for about five minutes. As I was going through, I also pulled out and stocks that I may have missed when tearing it earlier. The pieces of kale should be bite sized.
I then added the orange and the beets to the kale, turning to the shrimp. In a saute pan, warm up a tiny bit of olive oil to coat the pan. Once hot, add in the frozen shrimp. Let it sit a second and mix up the shrimp, breaking up those pieces at that frozen together. Cover with a lid for a few minutes to encourage the defrost. Once the ice is melted, empty 3/4 of the liquid into the sink. Squeeze with lime, salt and pepper and cook until warmed through.
The squash should now be hot and cooked through. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Drain shrimp and add to kale. Pour in hot squash once cool enough to touch. Add seeds and dressing and toss.
This salad is GOOOOOOOD.