Baked Summer Ratatouille
One of the first local recipes we made for the Oregon Food Bank's Eat Local Challenge!
I worked from home today, which is always so restorative to do once in a while. It probably has something to do with the fact that I wore my pajamas until noon and sipped a whole lot of coffee while I worked.
I feel a little like we are still normalizing from all of our travels, and Dave isn’t even done traveling yet (though he is here now). I kind of feel like I am still in sleep debt. And we’re still eating normalizing foods, too – kind of an informal cleanse, I guess you could call it. Healthy foods that will get us feeling back to normal. That’s where this salad comes in.
The title of this recipe already sounds like it’s going to be good. I mean, bacon and squash… what’s not to love? But I have to say, those ingredients just don’t do justice to exactly HOW good this salad is, or why it is good (spoiler alert: it’s the dressing). The dressing is full of very normal ingredients, but it pulls the salad together amazingly. I used high-quality bacon and roasted the squash in olive oil, and the little punch of tangyness in the dressing made it perfect.
You will need, per two entree-sized salads:
6 cups kale, de-stemmed and chopped into 1-inch pieces
4 strips of good cooked bacon, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 cups cooked acorn squash (I roasted mine in olive oil), cut into bite-sized pieces.
2 Tbsp. sunflower seeds
Fresh grated Parmesan, to taste
And for the dressing:
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. orange juice
1 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
In a large bowl, toss together the kale, bacon, squash, cheese and sunflower seeds.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, orange juice, honey, mustard, garlic and balsamic vinegar until they are well blended. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while you whisk quickly to combine. Salt, pepper and/or add more olive oil to taste.
Toss dressing with the salad ingredients just before serving. I recommend serving this salad warm, which you could do gently in a skillet for just a minute or two, OR … you could just use the microwave. That’s what I did.