Friday, April 26, 2013

Kale and Arugula Pesto with Pasta and White Beans





Kale- S and I eat a lot of it. In early spring, when most of the winter vegetables are gone from Whole Foods but the spring harvest has not yet begun Kale is one of the easiest vegetables to find domestically grown. To mix it up from our usual wilted kales, I wanted to try a kale pesto, but I had some arugula leftover from a salad the night before as well, so this became a mixed green salad. You could substitute the arugula for spinach, more kale, beet greens, dandelion greens, or just about any other flavorful green. Forewarning, this recipe does require a food processor. Some substitutions are at the bottom as well.



First, blanch your Kale in some boiling water for 2-4 minutes


While your water is heating up, throw some Parmesan cheese in your food processor. Throw in extra, you'll need some for topping your pasta too.


Whirl it up.


When you have this, pour the Parm (or Romano, or Asiago) into a bowl and set it aside for now.



Toast up your Hazelnuts in a frying pan over low heat (don't be like me and walk away from them so they end up a bit overcooked)



Toss your arugula in the food processor.


Basil (all pesto needs basil)


Add the kale



And the cheese.


Toasted Hazelnuts as well.


Lastly, add a healthy drizzle of olive oil, and a squeeze of lemon.


And whirl it up into a paste. How even and smooth you like your pesto is up to you, I like mine a bit rustic and grainy. 


Now the very easy part. If you don't want to make pasta, stop here and put your pesto on whatever you would like, but I had mine on whole white pasta and great northern beans. Boil your pasta water and toss in your pasta of choice (I went with little fusilli)


Open your can of beans and rinse well.


Combine your pasta and beans on your plate. I like a higher ratio of pasta to beans, but that's up to you.


Add your pesto, another healthy drizzle of olive oil, and fresh grated pepper and salt. 
Devour immediately. 


Recipe: 
Adapted from The Kitchn's Winter Greens Pesto recipe.

Pesto:
1/3 C Roughly chopped Hazelnuts
6 oz Kale, rinsed and chopped (I use curly kale)
4 oz Arugula 
4 oz Basil
1/2 C Extra virgin olive oil
1 C grated Parmesan cheese (plus extra for topping)
Juice of 1/2 a lemon 
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

White Beans and Pasta:
1 lb pasta (I like whole wheat fusilli)
1 15 oz Can of Great Northern white beans


Boil a large pot of water, add kale to blanch, 2-4 minutes then remove and drain kale.
Start a second large pot of water boiling for pasta, add pasta and cook normally when water boils. 
While water boils, put your Parmesan cheese in the food processor and blitz until grated pretty fine. Remove from food processor and set aside.
 Place hazelnuts in a heavy (cast iron is ideal) frying pan and toast over low heat until golden brown, remove and set aside. 
Add arugula, basil, drained blanched kale, hazelnuts, 1 C Parmesan, lemon, salt, pepper, and olive oil to food processor, and blitz until pretty smooth texture, or until it achieves your preferred pesto texture.
Open can of Great Northern beans, drain and rinse thoroughly. 
Combine pasta and beans on plate, top with pesto, a drizzle of olive oil, extra Parmesan, salt and pepper. 


Substitutions:

Arugula- beet greens, dandelion greens, spinach, any spicy green
Parmesan- Asiago, Romano, Dry Jack, any hard cheese
Hazelnuts- Walnuts, Pecans, Almonds

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