It’s been a while.
In the time that I’ve been away from this blog, I think I’ve changed a little. So much has happened in that short time, though it feels like I just wrote my last post yesterday. I’ve been a little under the weather. Or perhaps a lot under the weather, I should say. I was sick for the better part of April, a pesky combination of seasonal allergies, the flu and a strange lingering cough I couldn’t shake. Somewhere in there, I went to the UK for Easter and spent a restorative afternoon walking the woodlands of Exbury Gardens in Hampshire.
All this while I’ve had the recipe and photos for this post languishing in my Drafts. Yes, I’ve been sitting on this post for over a month now. I simply couldn’t come up with the words to go with it, but back when we were still on the cusp of spring, I dreamt up this chopped kale, roasted vegetables, rice and beans.
My aim was to make a warm and comforting meal, with a touch of brightness from the citrus to combat the miserable weepy weather (that we can’t seem to escape!). Also, I’m working my way through my giant bag of black-eyed peas from earlier this year. Rice with black-eyed peas make for a delicious, flavourful and hearty combination. The kale and vegetables, I picked up at the market, not quite sure what I was going to make with them. They add crunch, texture and an extra layer of yumminess to the meal. The dressing is tangy and fruity, and slightly sweet – be sure to use juice from a good sweet orange, if you make it. I got lucky, I snagged some end of season blood oranges which were good. I usually make enough of this salad to eat all week-long.
I want to try this again soon with the spring produce that is showing up at the market; maybe try some asparagus, leeks, peas, fava beans and scallions.
- 1/4 cup champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup orange juice (I used blood orange)
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika or freshly ground black pepper
- Salt to taste
- 1 large onion, cut into chunks
- 1 bulb fennel, cut into bite-size chunks
- 2 medium sized carrots, cut into bite-size chunks
- 1 blood orange (or regular orange) for garnish, cut into wedges, optional
- 3 – 5 garlic cloves, cut in two
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- Sea salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small bunch kale, finely chopped
- 3 cups cooked black-eyed peas
- 2 cups cooked brown rice (I used brown basmati rice)
- In a bowl or jar with tight-fitting lid, combine vinegar, olive oil, orange juice and zest, mustard, maple syrup and garlic
- Whisk or shake until well combined
- Whisk in paprika and add salt to taste
- Give it another whisk or shake to combine
- Set aside until ready to use
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F., and lightly grease a foil-lined roasting tray
- In a large bowl, toss onion, fennel, carrot, blood orange (if using) and garlic
- Add rosemary, salt and olive oil and toss to coat
- Spread onto roasting tray in a single layer (group together by kind)
- Roast for 15 – 20 minutes, until vegetables are tender and lightly caramelized
- Meanwhile, combine kale and black-eyed peas in a large salad bowl
- Add roasted vegetables (do not add roasted orange slices)
- Add cooked rice and toss to combine
- Add a quarter to half of dressing, and toss gently to coat
- Garnish with roasted orange slices and serve with more vinaigrette