It’s been a hectic Friday, one that began at 2 am when Nick screamed “MOMMY!!!”
It was indeed an emergency: Ducky (the lovey of his life) was lost. Or more precisely, on the floor. A few more hours of fitful sleep (me, not Nick), then it was off to teach spin class at 6am, followed by a full morning and early afternoon of editing an article (+ final recipe testing) that is due tomorrow (eek!). Nick and I whooped it up at the park for the rest of the afternoon, and by 6:30 pm, I was utterly pooped. I could think of few things more comforting than oatmeal for dinner. Perhaps with a glass of wine, too.
But it all worked out. Thanks to Kevin’s help (and wine corkage skills; my glass of wine was made a reality) , we had this beautiful repast for dinner.
I appreciate Kevin for so many things, including promoting calm in crises. He suggested a warm salad (he had eaten a large lunch). I suggested kamut, a recent purchase; he got the water boiling. We foraged for add ins and found an assortment of vegetables (mushrooms, kale, butternut squash cubes, a lone Japanese eggplant, and several stray carrots) we had used in other meals; on went the oven for some fast roasting.
Some olive oil, salt and pepper later, dinner (and a modicum of sanity) was restored.
I hope this salad inspires all of you to use what you have for a similar, simple feast. Use whatever vegetable assortment you have on hand, and swap the kamut for any other grain (e.g., barley, quinoa, bulgur), couscous, or short past you have in the pantry. Sometimes these “use-up-what-you-have-on-hand” meals are the best of all.
Happy eats, everyone! Savor these early days of fall!
- 1-1/4 cups kamut (or pearl barley)
- 1 Japanese (slender) eggplant, cut into small cubes
- 1-1/2 cups cubed butternut squash (I bought mine pre-cubed in produce section)
- 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into small cubes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided use
- 1 10-oz package sliced mushrooms
- 4 packed cups coarsely chopped, trimmed kale
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
- Fine sea salt and pepper to taste
- In a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat, cook and stir the kamut until toasted, 1 minute. Add 4 cups of water, increase heat to high, and bring to a boil. Cover partially, reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour until the kamut is just tender. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425F. On a large rimmed baking sheet, spread the eggplant, squash, and carrots, Drizzle with 1 tbsp of the oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in preheated oven for 15 minutes; remove pan from oven and add the mushrooms and kale, tossing to combine, Return pan to oven and roast for 5 minutes longer. Remove from oven and add to bowl with kamut.
- Add the vinegar and remaining oil; gently toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm, room temperature, or cold.