On the North Fork, winter is almost always a bit late and you won’t see the leaves begin to turn until early November. The copper colors of maple and the yellows and oranges of oak dot the roads of vineyards and farmland with their majestic hues. Visitors are often amazed by the variety and colors of vegetables on the stands even though winter is around the corner. Nonetheless, you will find the stands replete with members of the Brassica family like broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, and kohlrabi and the Brassica rapa like Chinese cabbage and turnips; along with a myriad of squash varietals from Long Island cheese pumpkin to Kobocha and Hubbards. Most of these are as delicious raw as they are roasted or sautéed and they are great conductors for sauces and dressings that you can enhance with the herbs remaining in your garden.
This salad of kale with roasted butternut squash, or pumpkin of choice, brings the end of autumn together with holiday flavors and still makes for a light and healthful dinner of substance.
Preheat oven to 425
Cut butternut squash in half and scoop out seeds
Set aside seeds to clean and roast separately
Drizzle EVOO on the meat sides of the squash and sprinkle with North Fork Sea Salt
Bake with skin side up for 45 minutes
While squash is baking, clean the seeds by removing the pulp and wipe them dry with a damp towel.
Place in a bowl and toss with EVOO and bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. When removing from oven, sprinkle generously with salt and other seasonings of choice and set aside for salad garnish or as a pre-dinner snack.
Take apart a head of kale
Remove the tough stems from the kale and soak in water
Drain the water and place leaves on towels to drain/dry
Rough chop the kale and place in bowl
1/4 cup EVOO
1/8 cup of Apple cider vinegar
1/4 of North Fork Sea Salt
1 tablespoon of Agave syrup
2 tablespoons of garden herbs (I used sage, Greek oregano, and celery leaves)
Mix all ingredients in a blender or food processor and mix until emulsified.
1/4 of dried cranberries
Seeds and or nuts of choice
Peel and cube one side of the squash and save the other for another meal. It will keep at least a week because is has been salted and roasted.
Place the kale and the cubes of squash in a large bowl, pour the dressing and toss. Then add your garnishes on top for color.
Serve with a glass of semi-dry Riesling from Paumanok Vineyards.