Disclaimer: BrightFarms compensated me for my time to review their Baby Kale, and also provided a gift card to share with my readers so they could try the products as well.
As the weather finally starts to cool down and the leaves are becoming blankets in the backyard, I start getting excited to have more time to spend in the kitchen. As much as we all love summer and the warmer weather, it is also a hectic time for cooking with all the activities going on and the desire to not waste a minute of outdoor weather in the kitchen. Besides I love all of the fall flavors. The downside is that it is the end of my CSA share and I will no longer get fresh food from the farm to my table.
Soon the farmer’s market will end their outdoor season, some of them will be done until Spring. When we move our shopping indoors to our local stores, it’s hard to make the right choice of produce. That is, of course, unless you consciously make an effort to find food that is locally sourced. When I am looking for cheese, milk, or yogurt, I have many local choices because – Hello! We are in Wisconsin! But when I am looking for fresh produce I am often making decisions on food that comes from California, Florida, Mexico, or Canada. Nothing wrong with that since I love my avocados, oranges, and bananas, but I do have to wonder: how long ago was this product harvested?
If you are not familiar with BrightFarms and their concept of growing food for supermarkets that are no more than 200 miles away, guarantying its freshness and most of all its taste; I’d recommend you listen to the story directly from their CEO on this Ted Talk. I find fascinating the impact that growing local foods have in the natural environment and our planet. It is something that we are not thinking about when we savor the lettuce on our salad, and yet it has an impact that goes beyond that very moment sitting at the table with our family.
For this recipe, I purchased the BrightFarms Baby Kale and combined it with all the flavors I love from the fall season. Delicata Squash gets roasted to bring out its great sweetness. I used apple cider to make a reduction sauce that is easy, flavorful and elevates the dish just a notch. The Baby Kale is wilted with sautéed onions and sweet peppers right as we turn off the pan, that’s right, it wilts with the heat that’s already in the pan to keep its beautiful green color and mild peppery flavor. This dish is perfect on its own for a vegetarian option or as a side to a nice steak. Yum!
Give Away: BrightFarms is giving away a $25 gift card to one of my Wisconsin readers. To participate if you are from Wisconsin, leave a comment below, or follow me on Instagram for more details.
1 medium size delicata squash
2 tablespoons olive oil (separated)
1 large garlic clove (or 2 medium)
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
2 sweet red peppers, thinly sliced
3 oz. BrightFarms Baby Kale
1/2 cup apple cider
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
Salt & pepper to taste
Roast the squash, garlic, and pumpkin seeds:
Preheat the oven to 400 °
Wash squash and scrub the skin. Cut into half inch rounds. Clean up the seeds going around the inner circle with a spoon. Place on a sheet pan in a single layer. Add unpeeled garlic clove to the same sheet pan. Drizzle with one tablespoon olive oil and a pinch of salt. Place in the oven and roast for 10 minutes. Flip the squash and garlic over and return to the oven for another 5 minutes. At this time add pepitas, spread in a single layer, return back to the oven and roast for another 5 minutes.
Make the sauce:
In the meantime, in a small saucepan, add apple cider, sugar, and vinegar. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat, whisking often until it reduces to half. When the garlic is roasted, push the clove off the peel and smash it into a paste with the back of a spoon. Add it to the sauce and whisk it in.
Make the Baby Kale:
Add the remaining olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add sliced shallots, season with salt and pepper. Sautee until tender and start to caramelize, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in sliced sweet peppers and cook for another 2 minutes. Turn the heat off. Add baby kale, season with salt, stir to combine, the baby kale will start to wilt, continue stirring until it has wilted entirely, but it is still bright green.
In a serving dish place roasted squash, top with wilted baby kale, drizzle with apple cider sauce, garnish with roasted pumpkin seeds. Enjoy!
Note: I was compensated by BrightFarms to write this recipe. I only collaborate with brands that I love and trust. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting my work.