P is for Pesto, which makes all things palatable–even kale.
I have gone on at length before about the industrial quantities of kale that each year burst forth from a single 4\’x4\’ bed. I should count myself lucky. Nutritionists adore kale, richest of all foods in vitamins, minerals, and the moral satisfaction that comes from eating what is good for you.
But, nutritionists aside, I haven\’t met many people–and nobody under age 35–who like kale. I haven\’t even succeeded in talking myself into liking it, not even enhanced with that all-purpose enhancer, bacon. Not even made into cream soup. Nothing, not a long boil, or my blender, or my teeth, is able to break down the mighty cellulose in those cell walls. At best, kale\’s flavor reminds me of inferior broccoli. And yet kale keeps on growing, spring through fall, undeterred by frost or wind.
Undeterred by bugs, too. Squash bugs destroy the squash; the caterpillars of the white cabbage butterfly devastate the broccoli. But nothing, not even Japanese beetles, goes near the kale. What does that tell you? But I should amend that: Wolfie and Bisou love kale. Every afternoon Wolfie breaks off a couple of leaves, gives one to Bisou, and I can hear them out there crunching on the stuff. I think they think the leaves are a kind of bone.
But my relationship with kale changed the happy day when I heard about kale pesto. With the help of massive amounts of garlic, olive oil, pine nuts and Parmesan, kale becomes a barely-there vehicle for those infinitely superior flavors. A vehicle full of vitamins and yes, moral satisfaction too. Who says that virtue has to taste bad?