Caramelized and roasted butternut squash tossed with sweet broccoli leaves — step aside kale, there’s a new super-green in town!
Greens are my absolute favorite plant food and I love incorporating different varieties into my meals. My salads typically contain 2-3 different types of greens and I’m always looking for ways to fold greens into food….or fold food into greens!
Needless to say, I was thrilled when the lovely folks over at Foxy Organic sent me this gorgeous bouquet of Broccoleaf. My husband (and #1 product and food tester) immediately got busy making himself a few turkey sandwich wraps with them. He loves to remind me that his opinion should matter more than mine because he is “mainstream” and well, I am not. I tell him that eating all foods indiscriminately does not make a good tester, but it’s still getting harder and harder to keep that guy away from my deliveries. Anyway….he reported the Broccoleaf made a great wrap with a very mild flavor. If you can’t handle the bite of a collard green wrap, the Broccoleaf could be a nice alternative.
You might be thinking right now…what the heck is Broccoleaf? Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like, it’s the leaves that surround and cradle the head of broccoli while it’s growing. If you have a garden and grow broccoli, you are very familiar already!
I love the story of how Foxy Organic “discovered” the deliciousness of broccoli greens. They were doing a juicing demo and an employee brought in some broccoli leaves to juice. After tasting the juiced leaves they realized wow, we could sell this stuff and….the rest is history. The best part of the story is that Broccoleaf isn’t just any ordinary leafy green. All greens are nutrient powerhouses but Broccoleaf is special. So special that farmers had already been using the leaves for years to replenish and cleanse their own soil. So not only is it rich in Vitamin A, calcium, folate and a full day’s worth of Vitamin C, it’s also a natural detoxifier! Glucosinolates and other antioxidants in Broccoleaf help protect your cells from oxidative damage and support detoxification in the liver.
Okay, enough geeking out on Broccoleaf. How did I prepare it? I chopped a few leaves into my salad that evening to really get a taste of it raw before cooking it up. The flavor is definitely reminiscent of broccoli and has a mild, sweet taste. When it came to cooking it, Foxy Organic sent me this roasted butternut squash and broccoleaf greens recipe to try.
I love this dish for it’s simplicity. Nothing but the oven! Usually you would have to saute the greens separately but the broccoleaf is actually roasted in the oven with the squash. Hard to believe I have never done this before??
I hope you’ll look for Broccoleaf at your grocery store. If you can’t find it you could certainly sub in Dino kale or collards. This is really a perfect dish to ring in the fall and start squash season!
Here’s how I made it:
Roasted Butternut Squash with Broccoleaf Greens
- 1 bunch Broccoleaf
- 1 butternut squash peeled and cubed (can use the pre-cut version or frozen)
- 2 Tablespoons coconut or olive oil
- Sea salt and ground pepper to taste
- 2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast, to make vegan
- 1 Tsp Herbamare seasoning blend optional
Preheat oven to 400 F. Peel a small butternut squash and slice lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and dice the squash into cubes. In a large bowl combine the squash with oil, salt, pepper and herbamare (if using). Once it's well coated, add squash to an oven-safe saute pan or spread out onto a baking sheet. Roast for about 30 minutes, or until just about tender and caramelized.
While squash is cooking,trim the broccoli leaves where they meet the stems. Roll the leaves lengthwise so they resemble a cigar. Slice the leaves crosswise to make wide noodles. After about 30 minutes, remove squash from oven and stir in the broccoleaf noodles. Return to oven for 5-10 more minutes or until greens are tender. Remove from oven and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.