We are always facing the 'Neverending Kale Dilemma' at our house. It's one of those veggies that always turn up in the fridge. The same goes for chard and silverbeet. It never ends! I've almost come to hate it, but I'm always trying to find good and easy ways to use it. It's so good for you, it's horrible to have to toss it in the compost!
But a couple of days ago, this recipe came across my iPad. Brilliant! Why haven't seen this before?! So here is our version, with the tweaks of things I have here at home.
- 1/3 cup, plus 2 tablespoons of pine nuts and pepitas
- Lots of kale, silverbeet, and swiss chard, thick stems removed and leaves torn (about 8 cups)
- 1 cup grated pecorino romano, parmesan, and whatever other hard cheeses you have, plus more for serving
- 3 garlic cloves (I tend to use one clove per person in most recipes)
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 4 serves of fusilli, penne, or some other short pasta
- Toast the pine nuts and pepitas in a dry skillet until fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes; let cool. Chop up 2 tablespoons and put it all aside.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the green and cook until bright green, this is very quick, 30 seconds is about right, even for the silverbeet and chard. Transfer the greens to a colander (reserve the cooking water); squeeze dry when cool enough to handle.
- In a food processor, combine the greens, cheeses, garlic, the remaining ⅓ cup of unchopped nuts, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Process until finely chopped. With the processor running, add the oil through the feed tube in a steady stream.
- Bring the reserved cooking water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve ½ cup of the cooking water; drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Add the pesto and ¼ cup of the reserved cooking water and toss to coat (add more cooking water if the pasta seems dry).
- Serve the pasta sprinkled with a bit of cheese and chopped nuts.
It took some convincing, but my boys did end up liking it in the end. They are turning into big pasta fans, so this was an awesome way of getting those super nutritious greens into the big bellies!