Sunday, December 18, 2011

Kale Pesto with Roasted Butternut Squash and Pasta

I think kale is one of the best trendy 'superfoods'. I prefer this dark leafy green cooked. I often make kale chips or quickly sauteed kale with garlic and olive oil. I hide it in lasagna, toss it in pasta and add it to omelets, but I know more than a few people who devour the stuff raw. People shovel away giant bowls of it at lunch dressed with balsamic vinegar, salt and maybe a handful of sunflower seeds. A friend of mine loves it because she can dress it in the morning, eat it for lunch and the greens haven't all wilted and aren't logged down with dressing. This kale pesto blends up steamed kale into a delicious nutritious sauce. Tossed with pasta and roasted butternut squash it is quite the vibrant dish. By vibrant I mean green, very green. Even the bright orange squash picks up a green tint. But if you want to get your kale in, or feed some vegans, this pesto is the way to go.
Kale Pesto with Roasted Butternut Squash and Pasta adapted from Melissa Clark/The New York Times

1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch kale (about 1/2 pound) , center ribs removed, roughly chopped
8 ounces pasta
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss squash with salt, pepper and olive oil. Spread pieces into an even layer, making sure there is space between them. Roast, stirring squash pieces once or twice, until golden brown and tender, about 30 minutes.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop kale into boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Use tongs or slotted spoon to transfer kale to ice water. Bring water in the pot back to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions.
3. Drain kale well. In a food processor, pulse together kale, nuts, garlic, lemon zest, a squeeze of lemon juice and a liberal sprinkle of salt and black pepper. With motor running, slowly drizzle in the oil until fully incorporated. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
4. Drain pasta. Toss pasta with pesto and top with squash and cheese.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Paige, you make Kale look delicious.