butternut squash and crispy kale noodle salad


Overview

Time: 35 minutes
Dishes: medium pot with lid, air-fryer, measuring cup, salad spinner


Hello, hello Dear Readers!

If the thought of peeling and chopping a butternut squash strikes fear in your heart, join the club. The winter squash is indeed intimidating, but with a few tips, maybe you can give it a chance:

1) Use a peeler to peel the squash - the first pass, just remove the outer skin and then make a second pass to peel until you see orange.

2) Treat the squash as two separate entitites - the neck portion is easy eanough, it is the seed portion that offers trouble. cut the squash in two - the neck portion and the seed portion. 

3) The neck: cut off the stem part and then cut into 1/2-inch slices and then cut the slices into 1/2-inch pieces and then into 1/2-inch  dice.

4) The seed portion: cut the bottom off and then cut off 1/2-inch slices from the bulb, going around the outside of the seed section. Do not cut it in half because then you have to deal with the seeds - instead, cut off slices from the bulb-seed portion and then discard the entire seed bulb when done.

Back to the recipe: truth be told, this is for a confidant palate, but the flavors are awesome and the textures are unique. The dressing is slightly sweet and spicy (use 1/2 grated fresh garlic if avoiding any spice), but has no oil. The fresh ginger and roasted peanuts tie the whole thing together. It sounds like a lot is going on - but I had this on the table in 35 minutes, including chopping that squash from scratch.

Enjoy!





Speedy Cooking Tips:

  • Put the water on for the pasta before grabbing the ingredients.
  • Use a lid while heating the water.
  • Preheat the air-fryer.
  • Peel and chop the squash into 1/2-inch pieces. Take the time here to avoid an extra 15 minutes of baking.
  • Make the dressing while the squash and pasta cook.
  • Add the beans to the pasta water, right before you drain it, to heat the beans to allow them to absorb some of the flavors of the dressing. 
 



Butternut Squash and Crispy Kale Noodle Salad

Makes 4 servings 

moderate


Preheat air-fryer to 400-F or oven to 450-F

1. Pasta: Cook the pasta in a medium pot of salted boiling water, until   al dente. Add the beans right before draining the pasta. Add 1 tablespoon of Dressing to Pasta after draining.

4 ounces spaghetti

1 cup white beans

2. Squash: Peel and chop the squash. Spray with oil and season with salt, add to air-fryer. Cook for 13 minutes or until almost tender.

1 medium butternut squash (4 cups, 1/2-inch cubed)

3. Dressing: mix the dressing in a measuring cup. Stir until sugar dissolves: 

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon tamari

1 teaspoon sambal oelek

1 tablespoon sugar

1-inch ginger, grated

4. Kale: add the kale to the Squash. Spray with oil and season with salt. Cook for 7 more minutes:

1 bunch kale, tough stem removed and chopped

5. Peanuts: add the peanuts and garlic to the Squash (remove any kale that is getting too dark). Cook for 3 more minutes. 

1/2 cup peanuts

3 garlic cloves, minced

6. Salad: Remove the large crispy Kale pieces to the side. Add the Squash mixture to the Pasta. Mix with a tablespoon of Dressing. Serve the Squash-Pasta mixture over the greens, sprinkle with the green onions and the reserved crispy Kale. Serve with the rest of the Dressing.

6 cups chopped lettuce

2 green onions, minced





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