Sunny, bright, chilly, perfect weather to finish filling the third raised bed in the vegetable garden, which we did. It\’s too late in the growing season to plant anything, so I will let the compost do its thing and sometime in early March, before the snow melts, I\’ll plant spinach in it.
Because the kale was crying out to be harvested, I made kale pesto. (Thanks, Alison, for that first recipe, which I lost twice.) The garden produces tons of kale, and it\’s just about the most nutritious thing you can put in your mouth, but alas, I don\’t much like it. I\’m crazy about pine nuts, though, and garlic and olive oil and Parmesan cheese, so pesto is a good solution to my kale dilemma.
For half a pound of kale without stems you\’ll need half a cup of olive oil, a quarter cup of nuts (pine nuts or walnuts or pecans), two garlic cloves, some salt and half a cup of Parmesan. Cook the kale for about fifteen minutes. (Don\’t throw out the water! Save it for soup, or pour it on the dog\’s food, or give it to your house plants–it\’s good stuff.) Put the drained kale and other ingredients except the Parmesan in the blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Mix in the Parmesan. Serve this on some pasta and I guarantee that you won\’t leave the table hungry.
I had two pounds of kale to dispose of, so I quadrupled the recipe and blended it in four batches. The blending part is a pain, since you have to stop and start the blades over and over. I suspect a food processor is easier, but I don\’t have one of those.
After mixing in the Parmesan I divided the whole into ten portions of about 3/4 cup each. This stuff is so rich that that amount poured on some spaghetti is more than enough for the two of us. I took my pesto-filled freezer bags down to the freezer and thought how nice it will be, on ten cold winter evenings, to linger by the wood stove with a book, knowing that dinner is practically taken care of.
Thank you for a suggestion on how to use this bountiful crop which I also grow more for it's looks and nutrition than it's taste.
Dona, speaking of looks, kale is supposed especially good for the eyes, and to guard against macular degeneration.
Can I buy a bag of kale pesto? Or get an invitation to dinner? I'll bring the wine!
Indigo, you're on! And welcome back.