Back when I worked in the corporate world, things were a little different.
I had to wake up about 30 minutes before my body wanted to every morning.
I wore high heels and starched shirts.
I would have breakfast at my desk, lunch at my desk, and I would prepare both in the little kitchen our office provided (sometimes getting odd glares from my co-workers who usually got take-out or ordered in).
On days that I was busy I would never leave my desk, and on days that I was bored I would find every excuse leave my desk.
In the winter, I would leave the office an hour or two (or three) after the sun went down. Michael and I would often get home at the same time, and on most nights we would cook.
I didn’t have as much time to get creative in the kitchen on the weeknights. Most nights I would stick to one of the several classic recipes that I knew well.
Roasted vegetables were a staple.
When I took a bite of a roasted carrot the other night, it reminded me of something. It took me a minute to pinpoint it. Usually food can take you back to a lovely place, a fond childhood memory, a memory of a beloved family member, but not this roasted carrot. This roasted carrot reminded me of my old job. It was strange. It was not necessarily a bad memory, but not a picturesque one either.
It got me thinking.
Sometimes we cook things because they are simple and easy to make. Sometimes we cook things because they taste good. Sometimes we cook things because they remind us of a person a place or a memory.
I realized, roasted vegetables are all of those things to me.
They are easy to prepare, they taste really good, and now that I've thought about it, they remind me of cold, quite nights at home with Michael when we would change into comfy clothes and catch up on our days. Maybe it is a pretty fond memory after all.
Roasted vegetable in the wintertime are good for the soul.
Kale is good for the soul too.
Marinated kale is just really good period. The marinating breaks the kale down into tender bites that are easier to eat and digest. Massaging the kale helps the process of breaking it down as well. This technique is not only good for this kale salad, but for anytime you want to eat kale raw.
The roasted vegetables make a hearty addition to the raw kale. Winter salads are best with some kind of warm element. Roasted vegetables not only warm up this salad, but they give it that nostalgic roasted taste that hopefully (for you) has a fond winter memory attached to it.
mustard marinated kale with roasted winter vegetables
4-5 small carrots, tops removed and cleaned
3 shallots, sliced into wedges
3-4 Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
10 or so endive leaves
3-4 sage leaves
1 tablespoon of fresh oregano leaves (packed tightly)
1-2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil (or another high-heat oil)
5-6 large dinosaur kale leaves, stems removed and very finely chopped
for the mustard marinade:
3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of grainy mustard
- Pre-heat the oven to 400º
- Place the carrots, shallots, Jerusalem artichokes, endive, sage, and oregano in a small-medium sized roasting pan and toss with the grapeseed oil and the salt and pepper.
- Roast in the oven for 30-35 minutes, until the vegetables have started to caramelize brown.
- While the vegetables are roasting, marinate the kale. Whisk together the ingredients for the mustard marinade until they are emulsified. Place the finely chopped kale in a large bowl and pour in ¾ of the marinade. Massage the marinade into the kale using your hands. Set aside until the vegetables are done (the longer the better, this will allow the kale to break down a bit and not be so tough).
- Allow the vegetables to cool slightly, and then arrange them on top of the kale. Use the last ¼ of the dressing to drizzle over the vegetables. Season with any extra salt and pepper or olive oil if you like.