Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sweet Potatoes, Kale, and Sautéed Apples

By Julie

We had the most beautiful day on Saturday. It starting out kind of warm and sunny. Joe and I went out and did errands and even sat outside and drank a coffee. As we were doing that, tiny little balls of snow started falling and the day turned grey and snowy. It was a steady, fluffy, non-stormy type of snow day. It was so cozy and a perfect day to cook lunch! Usually, lunch for us on the weekend is leftovers, or sometimes we don't even have it. So it was a special treat to make a dinner-like lunch.

The recipe here is a side dish, so you could have it alongside a whole host of things. I roasted a pork tenderloin, sliced it up, and put it on top and had it as a warm salad. You could also add some cheese and nuts and make it more a complete meal. Or, put a fried egg on top! I think everything is better with a fried egg on top...

This is so wonderfully simple - it might be my new go to way of making kale. It really is the addition of parsley to the greens, it makes it seem so special. Plus, there's the salty and sweet combination of the sweet potatoes and the warm, soft apples. Feel free to scale this recipe; what I made only served two. I was using ingredients that I had lying around - one sweet potato, one apple (a really, really sorry bruised apple), and one bunch of kale. But next time, when I make this as a thought out meal, I'll certainly double it. Hopefully I'll find less bruised apples.

Not only is the recipe easy, but you can also swap ingredients pretty easily to make an individualized recipe. Swiss chard on sale? Perfect! Turnip greens, mustard greens, collards, you name it - any hearty green will work. You can swap apples too, of course. If you have a Fuji apple lying around - use that! You could even use a pear. If all you have are regular potatoes, who is going to argue with baked potato fries? Butternut squash fries would be yummy too! No parsley? Try using another fresh herb, like rosemary or dill or basil. Experiment!

sweet potatoes, kale, and sautéed apples
adapted from chef Traci Des Jardins, serves 2

1 large sweet potato, cut in half crosswise and then into fries about 1/2 inch squared thick
2 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt and pepper
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
1 bunch kale, leaves ripped from stems into bite sized pieces
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, coarsely chopped

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss sweet potatoes with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place in a single layer in a Pyrex 9x13 inch baking dish, or a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until cooked through and nicely browned on the edges.

2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat in a small skillet. Sauté apple slices until tender and lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

3. In a large skillet, heat last tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add kale. If you've recently washed your kale, you should have enough water to help steam the kale. If your kale is dry, add a bit of water to the pan - about a tablespoon at a time. Sauté the kale until wilted, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in parsley.

4. Serve the kale topped with the apples and the sweet potato fries on the side. Alternatively, you can stir in both the apples and the sweet potato fries into the kale.

Enjoy this light and easy dish! Maybe you can even make it on a snowy weekend and have a nice hot lunch.

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