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Kale

We had the pleasure of having a houseguest for the past month while he was doing a medical school rotation at UNC. His friend, Casey also graced our household and taught me this wonderful recipe.

Pasta with kale, shiitake mushrooms and a taleggio cream sauce
Serves 6

Ingredients:
3 Tb Butter, unsalted
1 Cup Shiitake Mushrooms, diced
3/4 Cup Shallots, minced
1/8 Tsp Salt
1/8 Tsp Pepper
3/4 Cup Milk or Heavy Cream (if you want to indulge)
3 Oz. Taleggio cheese, diced
1/2 Cup Parmesan, shredded
1 Bunch Kale, stems removed and chopped
1/2 Lb Pasta, penne, or something similar

1. Heat butter in a large saucepan. Add mushrooms and shallots, season with salt and pepper, and cook until tender.
2. In another saucepan, boil water for pasta and to blanch the kale. Cook pasta according to package directions, blanch the kale near the end of cooking by using a fine mesh metal strainer with cooking. Once kale is tender immediately rinse in cool water (or place in a bowl of ice water)
3. Once the mushrooms and shallots are tender, add milk, tallegio cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan. Stir until cheese is melted. Add pasta and kale, top with more Parmesan and serve.

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As most of you know I love kale! We’re actually growing kale in pots in the backyard, as  I mentioned a while ago; but sadly these pretty plants did not survive the deer and NC bugs. We had a “deer attack” and sadly all of these sprouts were munched off. In lieu of this, I purchased a row cover to protect the next crop from deer, bugs and the cold. Until the harvest, though, I am excited to report that my favorite kale (the red kind) has been on sale at whole foods.

Breakfast of Champions
Serves 1

Ingredients:
1/2 Tb butter, unsalted
1 Large Egg
2 Kale leaves, ripped into pieces and rinsed
English Muffin, Wheat,
Cheddar, sliced (as much as you want)

1. Melt the butter in your favorite medium sized fry pan and use a pastry brush to distribute evenly over the pan.
2. Fry the egg until your desired consistency (I like my eggs over medium).
3. While the egg is frying, toast your english muffin.
4. Once the egg is almost done, place the kale leaves in the fry pan and press with a spatula until tender.
5. Assemble egg sandwich and enjoy!!

So I’ve started a garden.. of you’ve got it–kale!!! As most of you are well aware, kale graces my plate at least once a week. As such, when I was at Whole Foods the other day and I noticed that kale seed packets were $1.69, I decided to go for it.

I planted this whole packet in various pots last Saturday. The seeds have already sprouted!!! The kale will be full grown in about two months.. I can’t wait!!!

I love kale! So lately I’ve been trying to think outside of the Kale Pasta box… Here is my first attempt.

Kale and Carrot Gnocchi (Serves 4-6)

Ingredients:
1-2 bunches kale
2-3 large carrots, diced
1 Package of gnocchi, fresh or freeze dried
4 Tb Olive oil
2 cloves garlic (I use dorot, frozen crushed garlic from Trader Joes!)
Salt
Pepper
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese

1) Prepare gnocchi according to package directions.

2) While the pasta is cooking, heat olive oil and garlic in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Rinse the kale under cold water in a colander. Shake off excess water and place in pan. Add carrots and then add salt and pepper to taste and cover pan so the kale can wilt.

3) Once the kale is cooked down, add the diced tomato and cook for a minute. Add Parmesan, more olive oil (if desired) and cooked gnocchi. Enjoy!

This is my favorite way to eat kale, which is my favorite vegetable. I make this at least once a week.. and you should too, as Kale is one of the most nutritious veggies around.

Pasta with kale, tomatoes and parmesean

Serves 3 (or more)

Ingredients:
1-2 bunches kale, stems removed and torn into medium sized pieces
1 medium heirloom tomato, diced (non-heirloom tomatoes are OK)
2 cloves garlic
2 Tb Olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper
1/2 lb Pasta (linguni or penne)

1) Prepare pasta according to package directions.

2) While the pasta is cooking, heat olive oil and garlic in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Rinse the kale under cold water in a colander. Shake off excess water and place in pan. Add salt and pepper to taste and cover pan so the kale can wilt.

3) Once the kale is cooked down, add the diced tomato and cook for a minute. Add Parmesan, more olive oil (if desired) and cooked pasta.