When I'm not baking, I can be found re-purposing leftovers and making giant salads that I take to work all week for lunch. In this post-Thanksgiving period, I'm making a lot of turkey sandwiches and sweet potato meals (my friend Mike hugely overestimated the number of sweet potatoes he needed to make his Thanksgiving casserole, so I've got an over-supply of sweet potatoes to work may way through in the next week. I really can't complain though, as sweet potatoes are one of my very favorite foods).
So yesterday I put together an exceedingly delicious roasted sweet potato and kale orzo. It was one of those serendipitous comings together of all things bright and delicious, made with ingredients that just happened to be on hand. And today I took the leftovers to work for lunch, and it was great as a cold, grain-based salad. All in all, a happy accident that definitely deserves a repeat performance.
Roasted Sweet Potato and Kale Orzo
The surprise ingredient here is kale. I know kale is the sexiest of greens in the U.S. right now, but it is hard to come by in Germany. As usual, my Ökokiste came through in a big way, bringing me a beautiful bunch of kale right when I was missing it the most, and this is what I came up with. Kale goes very well with sweet potatoes, and when roasted to a slight crisp, it is hard to beat. Also, the orzo works really well here, but I could also imagine it being subbed out for something like barley or farro, if you want an even heartier wholegrain meal.
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 red onion, sliced thinly
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
2-3 large handfuls (approximately 8 - 10 leaves) kale, de-stemmed and cut into strips
1 handful sunflower seeds
juice of 1/4 lemon
1/4 cup (60 ml) cream
1/4 cup (30 g) grated parmesan cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 400F / 200C.
2. Toss the sweet potatoes, onion, and garlic in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and a big pinch of sea salt.
3. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes.
4. Toss the kale with another splash of olive and a pinch of salt.
5. Arrange the kale leaves on another baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the leaves are slightly crispy, but still green.
6. Get the pasta water boiling, salt well, and cook the orzo pasta.
7. Drain the orzo and transfer to a large bowl. Squeeze the lemon over the orzo, and mix in the cream and parmesan cheese.
8. Mix in the roasted vegetables and sunflower seeds, and add more salt if needed.