Timbales are nothing more than a dish presented in the shape of a mold. Bowl shapes are very popular and can be in different sizes from small to large. Even the most sparsely equipped kitchen has a variety of bowls to choose from to make the perfect timbale. For a party, make miniatures in an ice cube tray or sauce dishes. As long as you oil the dish first, you'll get a perfectly formed timbale every time! The possibilities of size, shape, and filling are truly endless and the presentation will always be stunning. For another timbale idea, check out my Apricot Quinoa Amaranth Timbale and see just how diverse the timbale can be.
For my Sweet Potato Kale Timbale, I've combined the earthy flavor of sauteéd kale with the rich flavor of sweet potato, sun dried tomato, and thyme. Since sweet potato and kale are always in the store, this dish is a hit all year round. However, don't hesitate to make this into a season specific celebration of autumn, winter, summer or spring. Just use whatever is in season at the time. Try butternut squash, pumpkin, winter/summer squash, or even artichokes to create seasonal variety in this staple of a recipe. Also, feel free to swap out the kale for whatever dark green you have on hand. Try spinach, beet tops, or collard greens.
Yields 4 servings
2 cups sweet potato, washed, cubed with skin on
2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup rice (I used brown basmati but any rice will do)
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 to 3 tbsp. sun dried tomato, finely chopped
1 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 tbsp. oil for sauteing (you can also use water)
Ingredients for Basic Sauteéd Kale:
5 cups kale, chopped roughly (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 tbsp. oil (try coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil)
2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
1/2 cup vegetable broth or water
salt and pepper
Directions for Timbale:
1. Prepare 4 timbale dishes by lightly oiling. Try ramekins, small bowls, or even mini loaf pans would be cute.
2. Steam the cubed sweet potato for about 10 minutes or until soft. Place steamed sweet potato in a bowl and set aside.
3. In a medium stock pot, add the stock/water and rice. Bring to rapid bowl. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 15 - 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is soft and tender.
4. In a large skillet or saute pan, heat the oil/water over medium heat. Add onion and saute until soft and a little golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, sun dried tomato and herbs and cook an additional few minutes. Stir well. Add the sweet potato. Stir. Remove from heat.
Directions for Basic Sauteéd Kale:
1. In a large skillet, add oil and bring to medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook till soft but not yet browned.
2. Bring to high heat, add stock/water and kale and stir. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes.
3. Remove cover and continue the cooking process until all the liquid has been absorbed/evaporated. Remove from heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Assembly: On a plate, add a small circular bed of sauteéd kale. In a prepared timbale dish, add a layer of sweet potato mixture and pat down to pack in firmly. Then add a layer of rice and pat tight. Center bowl over the bed of sauteéd kale, gently place bowl on plate and lift to relase the timbale. Add another layer of sauteéd kale and garnish with toasted pine nuts. If you are preparing all four timbales, prepare the timbale bowls first before bedding plates with kale (otherwise the kale will get cold).
Option: Add my Parmesan Cheese (pictured) for additional amazing flavor!