As you know, we are currently in transition mode. We’re fully moved into our new house, but it doesn’t quite feel like home, and there’s still a lot to be done to fix it up. The kitchen was completely unusable for the first few weeks we were there, but as of Monday, we’re starting to get back into the rhythms of cooking.
Earthbound Farm asked me to develop a recipe using their Kale Italia salad blend, and I decided that using the pre-mixed, pre-washed greens as the base for a simple recipe would be another good way to ease back into cooking. Given the state of our kitchen, I had very specific requirements for this recipe: use as few utensils as possible, be quick to make (with limited use of appliances that create heat in 90° weather), minimize leftovers so that they fit into the tiny fridge, and only use fresh ingredients that can be completely used up in one night. And really, apart from the leftover component, perhaps, isn’t this what many people want from a weeknight dinner?
Pesto is a great option when you want to turn a lot of fresh greens into a manageable volume of food. Of course, it’s the same amount of greens overall – it can just be consumed in fewer bites (and eating an entire box of greens in one sitting can be a rather daunting prospect.) I’ve been successful making pesto from kale, as well as from arugula. Mizuna, with it’s tangy, mustardy flavor didn’t feel like much of a stretch as a pesto candidate. That left radicchio as the only question mark from the Kale Italia blend, and I decided it would be a low risk experiment to give it a try.
The result was excellent – a bright, zingy pesto full of flavor. We tossed it with some gnocchi, fresh mozzarella, and cherry tomatoes for an easy, summery weeknight dinner. Next time you’re in the supermarket, keep your eye out for Earthbound Farm’s Kale Italia product – it’s a great way to easily get a lot of flavors (and nutrition) into your next meal. Here’s a quick coupon if you’re interested!
Kale Italia Pesto Gnocchi
Serves 4. A Katie at the Kitchen Door original recipe.
- 2 TBS pine nuts
- 4 oz. parmesan cheese, cut into chunks
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/4 c. olive oil
- One 5-oz. package of Earthbound Farm Kale Italia Salad Blend
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lb. gnocchi, prepared according to package directions
- 1 1/2 c. cherry tomatoes, cut in halves
- 8 oz. fresh mozzarella, torn into small pieces
- To make the pesto, place the pine nuts, parmesan, garlic, and olive oil in a food processor and blend until a rough paste is formed. Add the Kale Italia a handful at a time, blending in between additions and scraping down the sides of the food processor if necessary, until you have blended all of the Kale Italia into the pesto. Add the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste, and pulse a few times to incorporate into the pesto.
- Toss the pesto with the gnocchi, cherry tomatoes, and mozzarella. Best served warm.
This conversation is sponsored by Earthbound Farm. The opinions and text are all mine.