It's the chutney in the fridge. The gel in the bathroom. The pen whose ink is semi-dry but that still scrawls milk, or cheese, or tea on the list in the drawer.
Trends come and go, bookended by our need to judge and evaluate worth according to some silly societal schema. This, I would guess, is largely a western privilege -- tossing out something we all deemed fine, laudable even, five minutes prior.
But if the jeans fit, the shoes have treads, if the chutney's safe and the gel's fluid, if that pen's ink can scratch and scrawl and bleed onto a paper piece in legible script, I'm not chucking them out the door just yet. I'll keep them till they're spent, till they no longer fit, till their worth is zeroed out by no one but me.
Some say that kale's passé. That its moment is over. That it deserves to be buried in the yard like a rotten corpse.
To them I say: go ahead. But bury it in my yard, please, cause I'd like to snip the leaves as they grow and toss them in an old, tired pan.
Recipe for Farro with roasted delicata squash, kale, and sherry vinegar
Vinegar's a fine foil for kale's inherent bitterness. I like to pair it with roasted squash, which, when thinly sliced, becomes sweet and almost chewy in the oven.
Makes 4 generous servings
2 delicata squash, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped out, cut into thin (1 cm) half-moons
Olive oil, salt, and pepper
1 cup farro
1 bunch lacinato kale, leaves zipped from stems and rough chopped, a touch of water clinging
2 tablespoons garlic, peeled, smashed, rough-chopped
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar, divided
Optional garnishes: toasted walnuts or pine nuts, cooked lentils or chickpeas, shredded Parmesan
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the squash with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Roast on an unlined baking sheet until browned and almost chewy, 20 to 30 minutes, tossing a few times with a spatula.
Meanwhile, boil the farro in salted water until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and rinse to loosen.
In a hot skillet, sauté the garlic over medium heat in 2 tablespoons olive oil for a minute or two. Add the kale and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper. Toss with tongs until starting to wilt. Add 2 tablespoons of the vinegar and cook for another minute, tossing. (If there's abundant liquid in the skillet, boil it off or tip it out.)
Whisk up 2 tablespoons more olive oil with the final tablespoon of vinegar and toss through the farro. Spoon the kale and squash over the grains, and serve with or without the optional garnishes.