I’m sorry that I’ve been away from this space for so long and without so much as a note or a warning. It wasn’t intentional. A week-long break during one of life’s busiest times was all that I’d expected, but then it seemed that life’s roller coaster continued and every time I’d even think of sitting down here to write, another responsibility would slide in and tell me that it wasn’t possible. I’m trying to ease my way back in here. I’ve had this recipe (which I’ve now made 5 times) and this book to share with you for a couple of months now and I just can’t keep it from you any longer. Taking less than 10 minutes to make, this truly exquisite meal is the definition of fast food. Trust me on this one; your life will be changed.
Ever since I was a teenager I dreamed of being a chef and inspiring people to eat well. This notion has always been something that has brought light into my life. And when I first laid eyes on Sarah Copeland’s new book, Feast, inspiration was what I felt. The book is enchanting. The food is thoughtful, creative, and beautiful vegetarian fare. Some recipes, like this Roasted Broccoli, Kale, and Chickpeas with Ricotta, are quick and simple. Others allow for time to linger in the kitchen or catch up with friends while things come together. It’s a lovely balance of recipes that reflect the changing nature of life. The photos by Yunhee Kim are breathtaking, and, like good food photos do, they tell stories of shared meals, family gatherings, celebrations, happiness, and comfort. Truth be told, I received my copy of this book several months ago, and the evening that I spent flipping through it I felt like my decision to go to culinary school was the right one. The way that Sarah sees and shares food is what I aspire to do, and her writing and recipes reinforced my decision.
If you’re curious, I’ve made the roasted carrot, hazelnut, and radicchio salad with honey and orange (totally portable and fantastic–I snuck it into the movie theatre.), the robust oats with plumped dried plums and lime (a sturdy breakfast for cold, rainy days), and the knife and fork grilled portobello sandwich (incredibly satisfying), all with great success. The recipes that I’m dying to try next include the stuffed squash blossom soft tacos, the pea guacamole and seared halloumi tacos (I do love tacos), the whole-grain hazelnut belgian waffles with strawberries, the back 40 slab pie (a stacked vegetable pie with flaky pastry and sharp cheese), and next up, because it is the season, the spring vegetable paella.
But back on fast food, I recommend that you try this Roasted Broccoli, Kale, and Chickpeas with Ricotta. It’s a quick, easy meal for a busy night, but still manages wonderful taste and a fantastic balance of flavours and texture. Nutritionally, it’s an obvious win: kale, broccoli, chickpeas. (Duh.) I’m not exaggerating when I say that I would be surprised if you find that it doesn’t change your life. A good meal can do that, and this is one of those meals.
- 1 bunch broccolini, or broccoli, cut into thin florets
- 1 bunch Tuscan or Lacinato kale, stemmed and cut into 2-in/3-cm pieces
- 2 cups cooked or canned chickpea, drained and rinsed
- 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced *I used 2 cloves
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil *I used 2 tbsp
- Fleur de Sel or Maldon sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
- 8 oz/250 g fresh ricotta cheese *I used this local Water Buffalo Fresco with Pink Peppercorns from Monforte Dairy
- Preheat the broiler to high. Toss the broccolini, kale, chickpeas, and garlic with the olive oil. Season lightly with fleur de sel and divide between two rimmed baking sheets. Broil each sheet, tossing halfway through cooking, until the kale is crispy and the broccoli just tender and charred but still bright green, about 5 minutes, rotating the trays top to bottom if two don’t fit side by side in your oven. Squeeze the juice from two lemon wedges all over the top and toss together.
- Divide between two to four small plates and top each with a dollop of ricotta. Sprinkle the ricotta with black pepper and red pepper flakes and drizzle each plate with finishing oil. Serve warm or at room temperature, with more lemon wedges for squeezing over the top.