Kale – why does it get such a bad rep as being this granola hippie and not-very-tasty vegetable? Maybe it’s because people don’t cook it the right way? Or maybe it’s one of those “so-good-for-you-veggie” that you just assume it to taste bad? Besides being a super anti-oxidant vegetable choke-full of chlorophyll, calcium, iron and lutein to protect
the eyes – it CAN be a super tasty vegetable. A “grandmother of the cabbage family” , it comes in many varieties including purple kale and cool names like dragon kale and Tuscan kale. Try and see which ones you like, as they vary in texture and colors. I personally like the dragon kale as it tends to be smaller, more tender and bit smokey in taste. As it cooks up, the rather tough and even plastic-y kale leaves transforms into this hearty, savory, bitey goodness that will have you do a headturn and say, “this is kale?”
In honor of Meatless Wednesday, I served a kale penne pasta. Enjoy!
(what to cook with kale – quick and easy healthy dinner):
Kale penne pasta with sauteed leeks, onions and truffle oil
4 cups Kale (leaves removed from stalk – hold middle of the stalk with one hand, pull the leaves with the other – no knife needed) and julienned
1/2 cup sliced leeks (white part only – which is tender and sweet)
1/2 onion sliced
3-4 cloves garlic, olive oil and salt to cook/season
1/2 lemon (zest and juice)
1) Boil water in pan for pasta. Cook penne or other pasta al dente – about 10 min. And while it’s cooking…
2) In a pan (big enough to add all the veggie and the pasta) – sautee garlic, leeks and onion in olive oil with a 3-finger pinch sprinkle of salt until translucent and slightly caramelized. Add kale and stir. Pour a ladle-full of pasta water into the vegetables tenderizing the kale. Cook until most of the water evaporates, about 5 min in total.
3) Add the pasta to pan #2, toss to warm/coat pasta with the vegetables. Squeeze lemon/add zest and drizzle extra olive oil and stir again.
4) Right before serving, drizzle some truffle oil (I actually use a truffle-infused olive oil since the real stuff is pretty pricey) and serve hot.