I had the best of intentions to share this simple salad, one that goes with everything, before Thanksgiving but one thing led to another and maybe this will fall into your weeknight plans. I made the mistake of purchasing a Costco bag of peppermint pretzel thins so the only way to make that right are giant salads. This past weekend we hung lights, wreaths and put out a few poinsettias. I don't own a bunch of holiday decor, but I am eager to make our home feeling cozy and festive this time of year. I have memories of the stuff my mom put out - an old nativity scene with shredded paper hay, stockings with a disney character and our name embroidered on them and the alternating red and white lights that go around the roof. Even though Curran has no idea what's going on yet, I want to build traditions he'll look back on. It's amazing how a mini person can inspire so much intentionality. And I mean that in more ways than just Christmas lights.
I'm on this bender of vegetables being chopped small or sliced paper thin. I've mentioned that I finally found a mandoline I'm keen on and it makes the whole situation easier. For Thanksgiving round two with Hugh's family, I shaved multi-color carrots super thin and tossed them with some red quinoa, lentils, micro greens, toasted walnuts and an apple cider vinaigrette. It didn't appear as popular as the mashed potatoes but I will for sure be making that again.
I know the crazy starts now - may there be rest and thankfulness in between it.
HOLIDAY SLAW // Serves 6
- 3 cups diced butternut squash (1/2")
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- pinch of salt, smoked paprika and cinnamon
- 2 bunches Lacinato/Tuscan kale
- 1/2 head red cabbage
- 1/2 small red onion
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
- 3/4 cup shaved parmesan
- 3/4 cup toasted pecan pieces
- // roasted shallot dressing //
- 2 small or 1 large roasted shallot*
- handful fresh chopped chives
- 1/4-1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 2 tsp. honey
- 1/2 tsp. each sea salt and ground pepper
* roast a shallot much like a head of garlic. Trim the end, toss it (skin on) in a little olive oil and pinch of salt, wrap it in foil and pop it in the oven for 45 minutes until softened and caramelized. Time will vary by size of the shallot or how many you do. Simply peek in to check it's texture. Remove to cool to the touch before squishing it out of it's skin.
Preheat the oven to 400'. On a large rimmed baking tray, toss the butternut cubes with the olive oil, salt, smoked paprika and cinnamon to coat. Spread in an even layer and bake for 20 minutes until just tender but not mooshy. Set aside to cool completely.
In a blender or food processor, whiz all the dressing ingredients together until smooth.
Stem the kale and chop it ultra thin. Using a mandoline or excellent knife skills, shave the red cabbage and onion. Collect these items in a large salad bowl. Add the cherries (I chopped mine in half if you feel so inclined), parmesan and pecans, drizzle desired amount of dressing and toss to coat. The kale and cabbage can handle, if not improve, by sitting in the dressing for 5-10 minutes before serving.