Friday, January 20, 2012


Just like "whole grains", kale didn't make an appearance in our kitchen until earlier this month. When I was growing up, it was all peas and carrots on that classic dinner plate divided into protein, carb, veg. And I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but Charles is not a cooked vegetable kind of guy. Raw beans or root vegetables, sure, but cook them and it's generally game over.

A few weeks ago, I brought home a bunch of curly leaf kale. Unsure what to do, I made kale chips. The nooks and crannies that make up the leaves' tips make for an excellent crunch, but I think the smooth, sweet Black Kale is better suited to this treatment. The next bunch went into this stew, and I was hooked (happily, so was Charles). Two batches later, with a bunch of Black Kale now in the fridge, it was time for a new recipe. Not surprisingly, I found a suitable treatment on 101 Cookbooks - Winter Pasta. Best of all, we had everything on hand, which meant I didn't have to brave Wednesday's cold... Until we decided to walk over the High Level Bridge to Sugarbowl later that evening. Yeah, I know.

The shallot, garlic and kale go into boiling water for a bit, then everything goes in the food processor, meaning this sauce comes together quickly, with just a few dishes to wash up afterward. Instead of chèvre, I used up some ricotta, and I also broke out the meyer lemon olive oil we brought back from Portland's PSU Market this past fall. That combined with the bright green colour made for a very 'spring' looking dish, which clearly fooled us enough to head out that evening.

I did end up adding some pasta water and parmesan while tossing with the pasta, and as you can see, we switched up the penne for some linguine. Finally, some pine nuts added a contrasting crunch.

More kale currently resides in our fridge, so if you have some good tips or recipe ideas, they would be much appreciated.

PS. Here's what our balcony window looked like this week...


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