This quick, easy, and nutritious pasta is one of our favorite side dishes, but the kale pesto is also highly-devourable as a bread dip when served with a fresh sliced baguette.
- 1 bunch Lacinato (aka Dinosaur) Kale, stems removed* (see note)
- 1/4 cup walnut halves and pieces
- 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (packed)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 – 2 pinches red chili flakes
- 1 large clove garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- frew grinds black pepper
- 1/2 small lemon, juice and zest (Meyer lemons are delicious in this recipe)
- 12 oz. dried pasta (brown rice or quinoa pasta are really nice here)
1. Roughly chop the kale leaves. Bring a large (5 quart) pot of salted water to a boil, and add kale. Blanche for 2 to 3 minutes or until leaves are soft and tender.
2. Drain kale in colander, and rinse with cool water. Gently squeeze out excess water (it doesn’t need to be bone dry, just not dripping).
3. Place in small bowl of food processor with remaining ingredients and pulse until a pesto-consistency is reached.
4. Cook dried pasta according to package instructions, drain, and toss immediately with pesto. Mangia!
Serves 4 – 6
*Here’s a trick to remove the leaves from the stems: Grasp the stem end of the leaf with one hand, and with the other, gently pinch your fingers around the base of the stem. Slide them upwards along the rib and the leaf should easily tear away. Don’t worry if the very thin part of the stem towards the top of the leaf pulls off with the leaf– that part of the stem is tender. It’s the thick woody part you want to remove. You can cook and eat the stems separately, but we’ll save that lesson for Kale 201 : )