Ramsi's Cafe on the World shares recipe for winter squash, kale casserole



Posted on January 6, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Updated Monday, Jan 6 at 12:01 PM

Ramsi's Cafe on the World

1293 Bardstown Road

Find Rhona's blog here.


Winter Squash and Kale Casserole

By Rhona Kamar, Ramsi’s Café on the World 


1 or 2 Red Kuri, Kabocha or Butternut squash or 2 acorn or sweet potatoes, cut in half vertically, a total of 2 to 3 pounds
1 bunch of kale, any variety
1 red onion
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, for roasting the squash
2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Half teaspoon sea salt
Half teaspoon coriander
Half teaspoon cumin
Quarter teaspoon cinnamon
Quarter teaspoon turmeric
Quarter teaspoon white pepper
2 tablespoons maple syrup

For the topping:
Half cup almond flour
Quarter cup amaranth flour (or teff flour or chic pea flour)
Half cup raw walnuts, chopped fine
Quarter cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil, melted in a sauce pan on low heat
Half teaspoon sea salt


Brush the cut sides of the squash with the olive oil and place them cut side down on a baking sheet. Put them in the oven. Set a timer for 15 minutes. Check the squash with a butter knife. If it yields easily to the knife, it’s ready. If not, continue to check every 5 minutes until the squash is easy to cut. Remove from the oven.

While the squash is cooking, cut the red onion in half and slice it thinly. Melt 2 tablespoons of extra virgin coconut oil in a sauté pan or cast iron skillet on medium heat. Add the onions. Caramelizing an onion is an act of patience and requires careful supervision. Keep an eye on the skillet. And stir frequently. Watch the heat. Turn it down if things are getting too hot and the onions are burning before softening. You can add a couple of tablespoons of water if that happens.


NOTE: If you have a cast iron skillet, you can caramelize the onions, steam the kale, assemble the casserole, top it and bake the whole thing in one pan!


While the onions are caramelizing and the squash is roasting, wash and cut the kale. Nobody likes to eat the stems of kale. So cut them away. And then cut the kale leaves into small squares.


When the onions are caramelized, add the kale on top and stir together. Add 2 tablespoons of water, turn the heat up to high and cover. Steam the kale for 3 minutes or so and turn off the heat.


Melt the coconut oil in a sauce pan on low heat and stir quarter cup of coconut oil into the remaining dry ingredients. Reserve the other two tablespoons of melted oil for assembling the casserole. Set aside.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. If you are using a cast iron skillet, assemble everything in it. If not, scrape the onions and kale into a shallow casserole dish. Add the spices, salt and maple syrup. Scoop out the seeds from the squash and with the back of a spoon, dice the flesh from inside the shell and add to the casserole. Gently stir the ingredients together.


Spread the topping onto the casserole, completely hiding the vegetables. Drizzle the remaining melted coconut oil evenly on top of the casserole. Into the oven it goes. Bake for 15 minutes or until the topping has browned thoroughly. Gluten free flours are delicate and will burn easily. So keep an eye on it.


NOTE: This is one of those dishes that you can prepare ahead of time and pull out of the refrigerator. If you do that, definitely start it in the oven covered with foil. When the vegetables are heated through, remove the foil to brown the crust.