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It’s a perfect time for kale

This weekend, if you haven’t already decided the full menu, we’ve got two great side dishes for you to make to go along with your Thanksgiving feast. At the market, we see an assortment of lesser known vegetables: rainbow Swiss chard, celeriac or celery root as it is also known, golden and candy cane beets, collard greens and our favorite this time of year, crunchy kale.

Look for kale at the market stalls after the first frost, as exposure to the cold makes the vegetable a little sweeter and less bitter than the imported grocery store variety. New local kale is also crunchier, so it retains its bulk when cooked, unlike spinach, for example. This is also the reason why we made ‘chips’ out of the kale. Simply drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with some kosher salt and bake in a 350°F oven on sheet pan until crispy, about 20-30 minutes. Store in an airtight container and snack at your leisure! Kale contains vitamins A, C and K as well as significant amounts of vitamin B6 and calcium.

Most of us are familiar with the ubiquitous butternut squash. However, have you ever quickly sautéed it? By using a good vegetable peeler (get a Swissmar peeler at Entertaining Elements for $5) you can slice thin ‘ribbons’ of squash that can then easily be sautéed in a frying pan in a little olive oil or butter. The squash retains a bit of a crunch, which is a nice change from soft and mushy. By adding lemon at the end of both of these dishes, it brightens up the vegetable’s flavour and colour.

Sautéed Squash and Carrots

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 cups of butternut squash, peeled into ‘ribbons’
  • 1 large carrot, peeled into ‘ribbons’
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Juice of half a lemon

In a large frying pan melt butter over medium-high heat; allow to brown lightly then sauté squash and carrot, just until tender crisp; season with salt and pepper.

Garlicky Kale

  • 1 bunch of kale, tough center rib removed, torn into pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Splash of water
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 lemon

Wash kale; leave a little water clinging to the leaves;
In a large sauté pan, heat garlic up with olive oil, if using;
Cook garlic just until it begins to sizzle;
Add half of the kale, and stir constantly until it begins to brighten in colour and crisp a little – it will wilt slightly –then add remaining kale;
Add water and cook and stir until water is evaporated;
Turn off heat and stir in butter; squeeze lemon juice over season with salt and pepper.

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