Greens & You: Garlicky Kale Salad and Arugula Pesto

Gone are the days of tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, peaches, and peppers. Welcome to the greens and squash days. Yep, we are creeping towards winter produce time. It’s evident in the choices in my GreenBEAN (that’s Farm Fresh’s new name), in the tables overflowing with leafy greens, golden squash, and red apples at the Indy Winter Farmer’s Market. For awhile I was afraid of the greens. I mean how much can you do with chard, spinach, arugula, and kale anyway? And don’t they all just taste the same? Turns out you can do a whole lot with these vegetables and they all taste a bit different.Plus, they’re really good for you. They help your body naturally detox and have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.

So today I have two recipes for you that’ll help you use up the kale and arugula that may be overflowing from your CSA bin. Both have made successful appearances at ladies night potlucks (the kale salad multiple times actually).

The first is a raw kale salad with garlicky dressing. I like kale because it has a little more flavor than, say, spinach, but it’s not overwhelming. Kind of a nice nuttiness.

The second is arugula pesto. Arugula has a very peppery and more bitter flavor. I can only handle it in smaller doses when it’s all raw and on it’s own (i.e. on sandwiches, where it’s very yummy), so this pesto is a nice way to use a lot of it. Plus, it gives your pesto a good kick that basil doesn’t.

Garlicky Kale Salad
makes 3-4 servings
found at 101 Cookbooks

Ingredients
1 bunch kale
2 thin slices good white bread
2 cloves garlic
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus a pinch
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
3 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly squeezed juice of one lemon (scant 1/4 cup)
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Trim the bottom few inches off the kale stems and discard. Slice the kale into 3/4-inch ribbons. Place the kale in a large bowl.

Pop the bread in the toaster until golden brown on both sides. Tear it into small, crouton-sized pieces.

Mince the garlic into very small pieces (you can even go as far as smooshing it with the blade of your knife). In a small bowl, mix the garlic and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. You want it to be almost a paste consistency. Add 1the cheese, olive oil, lemon juice, pinch of salt, pepper flakes, and black pepper and whisk to combine. Pour the dressing over the kale and toss very well. Top with the croutons.

Arugula Pesto
Adapted from Life’s Ambrosia

Ingredients
2 cups arugula
1/2 cup walnuts, sunflower seeds, or pine nuts
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
pepper, to taste
2 cloves garlic, peeled
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2-3/4 cup olive oil

Combine arugula, walnuts/sunflower seeds/pine nuts, cheese, salt, pepper, garlic, and lemon juice in a food processor or blender. (My food processor is a mini one, so I put the arugula in by itself first to chop it up, that way everything else would fit in.) Drizzle in the olive oil, starting with 1/2 cup, and adding more as you need to get a nice smooth pesto. Process/blend until smooth. Serve over pasta, on bread, or as a spread on sandwiches.

 

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