We're transitioning to fall weather (on the east coast at least), which means an end to summer fruit and veggies and fruit who masquerade as veggies (you know who you are, tomatoes!). Out with the old and in with autumnal root veggies and colder-weather greens like kale and swiss chard and even lettuces. So…what to do with these?

I just got my CSA box and here's what's on my menu tonight:

Main Course: Cheesy Kale
Sides: Roasted sweet potatos, leeks, and fennel and a crisp salad with cold weather greens and olive oil vinegarette.

HOW TO: Cheesy Kale
Start the rice (I use brown) in a pot by bringing the water to a boil, adding the rice, reducing to a simmer and letting it cook. The rule is twice the water to rice ratio.

Meanwhile, rinse the kale and strip the leave from the stalk. Some people cut them with knives or kitchen shears; I hold and rip because it's faster. Then roll the kale leaves up in a big cigar shape and slice into thin slices. Put aside.

Dice a large onion and saute it in a large frying pan in olive oil or a little bit of broth until the onions start to turn see-through. Add salt, pepper, and kale and continue cooking until the kale turns bright green and wilts. Remove from heat promptly.
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Add the rice to the kale-onions mix and stir it all together, adding more salt and pepper to taste. You can also substitute soy sauce for salt–I love the flavor it adds.

Optional: Add diced kalamata olives (can you tell I'm a salt-lover) and/or grated cheddar cheese. YUM!

HOW TO: Roasted sweet potatos, leeks, and fennel.

Rinse all the veggies. Dice all–making sure that the sweet potato pieces are significantly smaller (about half the size). They are more dense and therefore the pieces have to be smaller or you will end of with over-cooked leeks and fennel (aka “mush”) and raw sweet potatoes.

Spread out on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle generously with kosher salt. Roast in the oven at 425-degrees for 20-25 minutes, stirring with a spatula at the 10-minute mark.

Serve it all with a fresh salad and alone everyone to dress their own salad by drizzling olive oil and vinegar (I like apple cider this time of year and it's supposed to be really good for you), salt and pepper.

Bon apetit!

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