Kale Made Three Ways

Three flavors that I adore together are caramelized onions, kale and butternut squash, there’s something about the sweetness of the onions, the slightly bitterness of the greens and the buttery squash, it just creates the perfect balance! I was inspired to make this pie after I had a slice for lunch from my local Whole Foods deli. They added pancetta but honestly you don’t need it, I think my version with out it was better, plus I added the caramelized onions which made it irresistible!

Our garden soil must be good for kale because it keeps growing and growing so I’m constantly thinking of ways to use it. I recently started freezing it and it’s actually nice to be able to reach in the bag and take out just what I need.

After I give it a good wash and snip off the stems I rough chop the leaves and place them into boiling water for a quick 3 minutes, drain and let it cool down on a baking sheet then pack it in a freezer bag for future use.

For my version of the Kale and Butternut Squash Pie I roasted the squash ahead of time and I slow cooked the onions and leeks for around 40 minutes until golden brown and sweet, don’t rush them, low and slow, and be generous with the grated parmesan cheese!

I used this recipe which is close to the Whole Foods version I had, it also helped me figure out the phyllo part, which btw, was very easy and forgiving.

All that goodness contained in crispy phyllo dough makes the perfect dinner or lunch!

I had leftover ingredients from the pie so I made this Kale and Butternut Squash Soup, light and not too heavy, perfect for the cool autumn weather we’re recently experiencing.

Ingredients were: kale, butternut squash, caramelized onions and leeks, garlic, cherry tomatoes, a can of chickpeas or beans cooked in a vegetable broth, if you have cheese rinds throw them in all the better! In no time you’ll have a comforting bowl of good for you soup!

I’ve made this Kale Pizza several times already, this is a favorite of my husband and BIL and they request it often, again it’s just those flavor combinations that go so well together. No butternut squash here just kale, caramelized onions, cherry tomatoes and fontina cheese.

Baked on top of a crispy pizza crust. Two big burly guys didn’t even miss the meat!

Now for the winner of the signed copy of Cucina Povera!

The winner is… Barbara F.
Barb congrats! Please email me with your address to


Butternut Squash Tart with Caramelized Onions and Kale

Butternut squash has become a favorite in our house, it’s so versatile and can be used in so many different dishes. I usually buy one every week, cut it into chunks, roast it and tuck it away in my fridge to use up during the week.

It’s so readily available this time of year and with prices like this how can I refuse!

I’m always looking for new ways to use it so while researching the Internet I kept seeing Smitten Kitchen’s galette version, those caramelized onions she used were calling my name so I decided to make a tart but changing it up a bit using puff pastry instead and adding kale for color and added flavor. I’ve already made this twice we loved it that much!
There’s something about the sweetness of the caramelized onions paired with the sweet and buttery squash, it’s such a perfect match, add to that fontina and parmesan cheese and a touch of sauteed kale, this dish screams fall!
I promise you you won’t be disapointed, you can even substitute spinach if you want or omit it all together. The puff pastry was a dream to work with, so easy to put together once all the components were ready.
Butternut Squash Tart
Prepare Squash, you can do this ahead of time
Peel squash cut into chunks toss in a bit of olive oil salt and pepper then and roast in a 375F- 400F oven til tender and golden.
One sheet of puff pastry, defrosted
Unfold the pastry sheet onto a Silpat or parchment paper and place on a baking sheet. Using a sharp knife, score a 1/2-inch border around the edge of the pastry sheet. Prick the center of the pastry sheet thoroughly with a fork.
Caramelized Onions
For this I sliced three onions into half moons and then sauteed them in a dab of butter and olive oil, added a pinch of sugar and a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme slowly cooking them for almost 40 minutes until a rich golden brown color appears. Don’t hurry this process even though you might want to, it really makes a difference!
For the kale I just took a about 6 leaves and cut them chiffonade style, saute in olive oil until wilted.
When all those components are finished sprinkle parmesan on the base of the puff pastry sheet, then add your caramelized onions all around then touches of kale here and there, maybe a cup or so of cubed fontina spread about, more parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil on top and along the border of the puff pastry, place in a 400F oven for 25- 30 minutes or until nicely browned on the bottom.
Each year during the fall local Girl Scouts create nature themed scarecrows near my home, very creative don’t you think?
Have a wonderful weekend and Buon Appetito!