Thanksgiving is just a few days away and I wanted this week's Meatless Monday to highlight the flavors that many people associate with this holiday. A table filled with family favorites and traditional classics is standard in my family, but as a vegetarian I often get stuck with mashed potatoes, rolls, and a big slice of pumpkin pie at the end.
For the past few years however, I've resolved to change that, adding a new dish to the table each year that everyone ends up enjoying as much as I do. This year is all about roasted squash drizzled with a simple dressing of parsley and sage. Dried cranberries and toasted walnuts are tossed in for texture and flavor; all served over a bed of garlicky sautéed kale. This is a great dish to add to your table if you have any vegetarians or vegans (just leave out the Parmesan) in your family, or if you just want to have one more pretty vegetable side dish, too.
Roasted Delica Squash with Parsley-Sage Dressing over Garlicky Kale
For the squash
1 1/2 lb delica squash
4 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for brushing
Big pinch of salt
3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/4 cup toasted walnuts or pecans
1/4 cup dried cranberries
Parmesan for serving, optional
For the kale
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 bunch kale
Big pinch of salt
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 450˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Trim ends, then cut into 1/2-inch slices. Place on baking sheet, cut-side down, and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt, place in the oven, roast for 25 minutes (or until tender and the undersides are golden brown).
Meanwhile combine parsley, sage and 4 Tbsp olive oil, set aside.
Trim kale off the main stalk by holding the end of the stem in one hand at about a 45 degree angle and gliding a sharp knife down the side, repeat on the other side. Chop the leaves into bite-size pieces. Heat a large skillet with 2 Tbsp olive oil, add kale, and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. The kale will turn a brighter shade of green and start to collapse in the pan. Stir in garlic and sauté for another minute; remove fromheat and place on a serving platter.
Arrange the squash on top of kale, drizzle with the parsley-sage dressing, and top with the toasted walnuts and dried cranberries. Serve immediately.
Jacquelyn Scoggin became a vegetarian at age 16 and has since been in the kitchen whipping up meals for her family and friends. She writes and photographs her love for vegetarian food on her blog, So Good & Tasty. In 2009, she and her husband started Slide Sideways, a graphic design and handmade business. They maintain their love for the environment by using organic fabric, recycled paper, and environmentally friendly cleaning products.