Ever wonder how chefs do Thanksgiving? They lean into seasonal sides and cozy flavors — but most importantly, they plan ahead. “The key is creating a menu where nothing is made in the moment,” says Monteverde chef-partner Sarah Grueneberg. This kale dish, from her new produce-centric cookbook Listen to Your Vegetables, ticks all the right boxes: It’s anchored by a soffritto (a traditional Italian veggie base) of tomatoes and butternut squash that’s cooked until caramelized and deeply aromatic. Best of all, it can be made in advance and gently rewarmed before eating, so you can hang up your apron and enjoy the big day.
Sarah Grueneberg’s Braised Tuscan Kale With Butternut Squash Soffritto
Active time:20 minutes
Total time:1 hour
|½ cup||Pancetta or thick-cut bacon, diced|
|1 tsp.||Olive oil|
|1½ cups||Peeled, diced butternut squash|
|1||Small red onion, finely chopped|
|Kosher salt, to taste|
|1 Tbsp.||Fresh thyme leaves|
|1||14.5 oz. can crushed tomatoes|
|2||Large or 3 small bunches Tuscan kale, washed, stemmed, peeled, and torn into 3-inch pieces|
|1½ cups||Stock of choice|
|Fresh cracked black pepper, to serve|
1. In a large pot, cook pancetta in olive oil over medium-high until fat is rendered and pancetta is golden and crispy, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.
2. Return the pot to medium heat. Add squash and onion and season with salt. Cook until vegetables are softened and beginning to caramelize, about
3. Add thyme and stir with a wooden spoon to loosen brown bits on the bottom of the pot. Add tomatoes and cook until thickened and reduced by more than half, 8 to 10 minutes.
4. Add kale and stir into the mixture until it wilts. Season with salt. Add stock and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until kale is soft and the mixture has formed a thick, stew-like consistency, 20 to 25 minutes. Check seasoning, adding salt if desired. Finish with lots of cracked black pepper and reserved pancetta.
From Listen to Your Vegetables by Sarah Grueneberg with Kate Heddings. Reprinted by permission of Harvest.