Penne with Yellow Tomato Sauce and Dinosaur Kale

So here’s the part where I bore you about trying to eat seasonally and greens and kale and how we all need to learn to do this.. blah, blah, blah.  But you know what?  This was so delicious that I’ll spare you.  You’re welcome.

  • 2 boxes of whole wheat penne (24 oz. total)
  • 7 cloves of garlic peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 pints yellow cherry tomatoes
  • 1 bunch of dinosaur kale (I was going to use spinach, but had to use the kale – anything would work really) chopped – I used the whole leaf, chopping the stems ends really small  and separating them from the leafier part.  They’re tougher and are going to take longer to cook.
  • 1 big pinch of red pepper flake
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper (yeah, they really do taste better)
  • Freshly grated cheese (I love Locatelli)

Put up a pot of water to boil.  Prepare pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, heat a pan on med/high heat.  Swirl in some olive oil to coat the bottom when hot.  Add the garlic, saute for a minute or so and then add the tomatoes.

Saute another minute or two and add the tougher kale stems.

cook for about five minutes then add the red pepper flake and the kale leafs, stirring occasionally.

When it’s done, drain the pasta in a colander and put the empty pot back on the stove on a medium heat.  Pour the tomato/kale mixture into the pot, then add the pasta and toss very gently but thoroughly; you want it completely mixed but you don’t want to break the pasta.  Remove from heat and spoon into bowls.

Sprinkle some salt and grind some pepper on top.  Garnish with freshly grated cheese.

The balance in this dish was perfect.  I was a little heavier handed with the red pepper flake than I meant to be, but the spice really worked.  The tomatoes are so super sweet, the greens have that bitter taste, the spice from the red pepper flake and the creamy cheese… yum. I wasn’t really sure about using the stems of the kale, but they gave a really nice crunch to it.  I’m definitely glad I chopped them so small though.



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Swiss Chard and Dinosaur Kale

This week in the farm basket I received some beautiful Swiss Chard and Dinosaur Kale among other things.  I thought I’d saute them together in a little garlic and ginger but then I decided to use a lot of garlic and ginger.

5 cloves of garlic peeled and finely chopped
1 inch piece of ginger peeled and finely chopped
Olive Oil
1 bunch of swiss chard cleaned and chopped (separate the ribs)
1 bunch dinosaur kale cleaned and chopped
the juice of two limes

Heat a large pan on high, add the oil and when it ribbons, add the garlic and ginger and cook for about 2 minutes.  Add the ribs and saute for another 2 minutes.

add the rest of the greens and saute until wilted add the lime juice and then remove from heat.

We served it with Israeli couscous and grilled chicken and drizzled a little sesame oil over the plate.



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Pasta with Kale and Tomatoes

In my efforts to eat as much sustainably grown, organic, local food as possible, it becomes necessary to be really creative this time of year. Between the cabbage and the kale that aren’t everyone’s favorite veggies I try to use things in an unexpected way.  Tonight I had a bunch of kale that needed to be used immediately. I thought it was worth a try to put it in pasta, much like I would spinach.

2 boxes of of whole wheat angel hair pasta
1 bunch of kale
5 cloves of garlic chopped
3 plum tomatoes diced
a couple of forkfuls of sundried tomatoes
2 cups vegetable broth
8 oz. goat cheese

Prepare your pasta according to package directions.  Drain, toss with a tiny amount of olive oil so it doesn’t dry out and set aside (I do it right in the colander)

The kale was a little wilted, so I brought it back in a bowl of cold water, then rinsed, dried and chopped it.  I took the same pot I used for the pasta, put it back on the burner, on med/high heat and add a little bit of olive oil. Add the kale and cook about 5-8 minutes, stirring often.

Add the fresh tomatoes and the garlic, and cook for a minute or two, until you can smell the garlic and the tomatoes start to break down. (next time I think I’ll add some red pepper flake at this point)

Add the broth and the goat cheese – stirring till the goat cheese melts all the way, then bring to a boil and allow to reduce a little bit.

add the sundried tomatoes and the pasta and toss gently until well combined.

So good!  The kale stands up to the heat better than spinach, so it’s still a little bit crunchy.  The sundried tomato sets off the bitterness of the kale beautifully.  Everyone had seconds.



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Vegetarian Greens, Squash and Rice

Sometimes when you have a refrigerator full of beautiful produce, you forget that you have to defrost a protein occasionally. And when you forget to defrost said protein, you’re forced to make something completely unexpected and sometimes the end result is so good that your family forgets that there was no meat in this dinner.

Dish 1:

1 green acorn squash

Preheat the oven to 350.  Cut squash in half and remove seeds.  Place cut side down on a baking sheet and bake till soft; about an hour.  When it’s done, allow to cool a bit and then scrape out the flesh and mash with a little pat of butter and a little salt and pepper.  (You could add brown sugar and cinnamon, or maple syrup, but I found it to be wonderfully sweet!)

Dish 2:

1 bag of sliced peppers that I prepared and froze when I had too many peppers and they were going to go bad (or whatever you have)
1/2 large onion that I chopped when I had a ton of onion that were going to go bad (or whatever you have)
1 bunch of kale washed and chopped and 2 bunches of escarole washed and chopped(or whatever greens you have)
2 tablespoons of EVOO

Heat a large pan.  Swirl olive oil until ribboned and add onion.  Saute until glossy and then add the peppers, cook until they’re thawed (if they were frozen) and then add the kale.  The kale is tougher and will take longer than the escarole.

kaleescsqupan

I started to add the escarole and realized that I could have used a much bigger pot, but I wasn’t about to switch it now and dirty another pan, so I added what would fit, let it wilt and then created more space for more escarole, cooked till wilted and kept doing that until it was all in the pan and all wilted.

Dish 3:

Jasmati rice cooked according to package directions.

I piled all three dishes onto a plate and drizzled the greens and rice with a little soy sauce.  It was yummy.   My daughter used Texas Pete hot sauce and my son used Chipotle Tabasco.


kaleescsquplate

Everyone thought that their’s was best.



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Delicata Squash… Oh My.

Can you stand to read one more time while I wax rhapsodic about the buying club? This week, we had some beautiful squash, delicata squash.  I’d never heard of it before, but they were so pretty!

delicata

Hello Gorgeous, right?

As always, Annie sends out a newsletter that has the items that we expect this week, as well as ideas for how to use some of the more interesting and unusual items.  It directed me to a website that had a recipe for the squash and kale that really piqued my interest.  Apparently she got the idea here and switched it up to suit her needs.  I, as always, did the same.

Here’s mine:
Pre-heat oven to 350.  Split and remove the seeds from the squash.

delicatasplit

Spray with some olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper and roast for 45 minutes-1hour, or until they’re fork tender (next time I think I’ll roast them even longer, letting the skin darken a bit).

In the meantime… prepare the rest of the ingredients
4 cloves of garlic minced
2 bunches of kale, washed and chopped
2 T. Olive Oil
2 cans garbanzo beans drained and rinsed
salt, pepper and a big pinch of dried sage
Big handful of bread crumbs (I guess about a half to 3/4 cup)
1/2 c. parmesan cheese

15 minutes before you’re going to take the squash out, heat a large pan on med/high heat.  Add olive oil.  When it ribbons, add the garlic and saute, just till you can smell it.  Add the greens and saute.

delicatagreens

Stir and shake and saute until it cooks down and is nice and shiny from the oil, add the chickpeas, salt, pepper and sage (always make sure to crush dried herbs a little bit with your hands to release any oil that’s left in them.  I don’t know if this really works for the taste, but it sure smells good!)

delicatacookgrns

Remove from the heat and add the bread crumbs and the cheese (keeping a little aside for topping).

If they’re not already out, take the squash out of the oven.  (if they’re not done just let the greens sit, they’ll be fine).

Spoon greens into squash halves and sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Put back into the oven and bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

delicatamoney

These were so good.  The squash is more along the lines of winter squash then summer squash, but lighter tasting. Sweet and creamy, combined with the bitterness of the greens and the meaty garbanzo beans… Oh my.  It’s meals like this that make me think I might actually be able to trick convince my husband to eat more vegetarian meals.  This was our dinner.  I ate the one that you’re looking at and it was extremely satisfying.



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Local, Fresh, Organic Produce

Recently I was extremely lucky to be gifted a bunch of local produce.  And once again, I was amazed at what a fabulous part of the country I live in.  The produce was so fresh and beautiful that I just let the ingredients speak for themselves.  We had green beans, wax beans, and pole beans that I cleaned and trimmed and tossed with olive oil, chopped garlic,  kosher salt, and halved plum tomatoes and put into a 400 degree oven for an hour.  We had the most lovely side dish, crunchy roasted beans with juicy tomatoes. Just delicious!

abundtom

We also had kale, which I hate to admit, I don’t like.  My husband however, loves it, so we just cleaned it and chopped it up and added it to some seasoned water, with some chopped red onion in the crock pot.  We cooked it on high for four hours and we’ll have to take Jim’s word for it, but according to him it was delicious.

abunkale

I say it over and over again, but there is just nothing like fresh, local produce.  I feel so lucky to live somewhere that it’s so abundant!



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