After several years of some serious cooking and a few false starts, I'm finally joining the food blogging community. I only wish I had done it sooner! My hope is for Vedging Out to be a digital collection of my favorite meals, an exploration of what's happenings in my kitchen and my interpretation of recipes I've discovered in food magazines and great blogs.
My cooking method might be a little different than most. For the most part, I don't follow recipes and I don't measure ingredients. Maybe it's because I'm not a huge fan of rules, but I do this primarily because I think cooking is more about tasting your way around food. I think strict measurements are up for interpretation and should be always be adjusted to fit your preferences. I'm definitely going to include amounts for each ingredient in the recipes I share with you, but please deviate from them, make these recipes your own! Last thing on my disregard for meticulous measuring... you're not likely to find many sweets on this blog, unless it's around Christmas when I make my pixie cookies. I leave all the baking in the family to my sister who used to work in a bakery and is an amazing pastry chef. I'm hoping she'll make some guest appearances to feature some of her delicious treats - her petit fours and baklava are out of control.
Since Thanksgiving is fast approaching, I wanted to share a dish that is perfect to take to a Friendsgiving or bring home for the holiday. This casserole is comfort food like no other, especially when topped with mashed potatoes or a bread crumb crumble. I opted for the crumble in this version because one of my friends had called dibs on the mashed potatoes and I didn't want to encroach. I added a little extra oomph by using a rosemary herb salt in this recipe, but regular salt works perfectly as well.
1 lb. sausage, removed from casing
4 cups butternut squash, chopped into medium cubes
3 cups kale, torn
4 large carrots, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 shallots, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups parmigiana cheese, shredded
3 tbsp rosemary, chopped
1 tbsp sage
1 tbsp salt
Bread Crumb Crumble:
2 cups plain bread crumb
3 tbsp butter
1 tbsp rosemary, chopped
1 tbsp sage
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Chop all veggies and garlic; set aside.
Warm a large skillet over medium-high heat. When a spritz of water sizzles on the surface, crumble the sausage into the pan and stir occasionally to break it apart. Cook until the sausage is starting to brown for about 5-10 minutes. Remove the sausage and place on a paper towel lined plate. Keep 2-3 tbsp of sausage fat in the pan, enough to thoroughly coat the bottom.
Add the butternut squash, carrots, onion, shallots, garlic, rosemary, sage and salt to the pan and cook until onions and shallots begin to caramelize and the squash and carrots become tender - about 15 minutes.
While the vegetables are sauteing, place the butter in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in 30 second bursts until melted. Add garlic, rosemary, sage, salt, and 1 cup of the parmigiana cheese; stir. Add in the bread crumbs and mix well with a fork; set aside.
Add the kale to the pan and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes. In a large Pyrex combine the vegetables, sausage and remaining parmigiana cheese. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with bread crumbs. Bake for an additional 10 minutes, watching carefully after 5 minutes so the bread crumb topping does not burn.