by Victoria Cortes, Guest Blogger, Victoriacortes.com
For the first course at the Nourishing Traditions dinner in honor of Dr. Joseph Mercola I decided to turn to a favorite salad recipe from Martha Stewart Living. The salad incorporates roasted delicata squash (which is the coolest winter squash because you can eat the skin), oh-so-nutritious kale, unique beans called cranberry beans, and a delicious warm dressing based on balsamic vinegar and honey. The warm dressing is all that is needed to wilt the kale perfectly.
In order to make this recipe suitable to a Nourishing Traditions dinner, I used dried cranberry beans instead of canned. I soaked the beans overnight, then the next day I drained and rinsed them, and simmered them gently for about 45 minutes. If you’re new to cooking with dried beans (good for you!), here is a very flavorful method from Jamie Oliver that you can apply to many different varieties of beans. You can even use a slow-cooker to simmer the beans. One of my favorite ways to serve cooked beans is to sautée a little garlic in olive oil until fragrant, toss the beans in the oil, season them with salt and pepper, and then serve the beans over dressed salad greens.
Cranberry beans, which are also known as borlotti or shell beans, are a little difficult to find, at least in Northern Virginia. I purchased mine at The Italian Gourmet in Vienna, VA.
The honey-balsamic glazed delicata squash makes a great side dish on its own.
To see the rest of the menu (and recipe links) from the fabulous dinner party, see Guess Who Came to Dinner? Eventually, all the recipes will be linked to this original blog!
This post is one of the many delicious offerings in the Real Food Wednesday blog carnival. Get back into the kitchen with Kelly the Kitchen Kop!
Victoria Cortes is a personal chef for green minded foodies in the Northern Virginia area. She works with clients with special dietary needs and enjoys introducing them to nourishing traditional food. Visit her website, victoriacortes.com.