|Lovely Kale In My Garden|
|Beautiful Salad Green Growing In My Garden|
Speaking of paying more for quality food, my hope is that as the slow food revolution continues to move forward, more people will demand to have high quality food at a lower price and as a result, the price will slowly go down to meet the demand. It is a shame that people in poverty and on diminished incomes are forced to buy inferior food products filled will artificial flavors, preservatives, and by-products in order to eek out a meal. Have you actually looked at the ingredient list on the back of a bag of Tyson chicken nuggets? Technically, the list should include chicken and some sort of breading, but the list is a mile long. Don’t even look at the sodium content.
It is time for us to re-examine how we view food. True, we are all busy people and at the end of a long day working or parenting, we just want a quick meal on the table to feed our family. But maybe its time to consider joining a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), shopping the farmers markets and fruit stands for fresh, just picked veggies and fruits, or going in on your own or with other people to buy a cow (or % thereof) or pig. There is a certain peace of mind in knowing the farmers that raise or grow your food. If you are like me and get overwhelmed by all the produce in the middle of the growing season and you have no idea how to cook it, take some time to be purposeful about finding new recipes that celebrate the vegetable of choice and your family may just enjoy a new tasty meal. Below is a recipe I tried from one of my favorite new cookbooks that celebrates local CSAs, Eating Local: The Cookbook Inspired by America's Farmers. Erika's husband gave me a big bag full of kale and spinach from their garden, and I wanted a nice way to use is all up before it spoiled. So, below is my attempt at making a delicious pesto out of the greens! If you want more information about where to find a CSA or locally grown beef in your area, http://www.localharvest.org is a nice place to start. Let me know if you find anything exciting!
Fuisili with Winter Pesto
1/2 lb Tuscan kale, with ribs removed (I used spinach and kale)
1/2 cup walnut pieces, toasted
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated pecorino cheese (I used freshly grated parmesan since that's what I had in the freezer).
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds fuisili or spaghetti
My additions to the pasta:
1 package Italian chicken sausage
1 can diced tomatoes (although sun dried tomatoes would be even better)
1/2 cup sliced green olives
1. Bring large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the kale and boil until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. With a wire-mesh skimmer or tongs, transfer the kale to a sieve or colander and run under cold running water until cool. Drain again and squeeze to remove excess moisture. Keep the pot of water boiling.
2. Put the kale, walnuts, and garlic in a food processor and pulse until nearly smooth. Add the ricotta and pulse again until blended. With the motor running, add the olive oil through the feed tube. Transfer the pesto to a bowl and stir in the pecorino, then season with salt and pepper.
4. Drain the pasta and return it to the hot pot. Add the pesto and, using tongs, toss the pasta with the sauce, thinning with some of the reserved hot water if necessary.
5. Cook the chicken sausages in a skillet. Remove from skillet and slice into rounds. Add the sausage rounds to the pasta.
|The Final Product. Not Pretty, But VERY Tasty|
6. Add tomatoes and olives to skillet. Cook for approximately 5 minutes, until heated through but not to the point of the tomatoes breaking down. Add to pasta and mix with tongs until well incorporated. Serve immediately. Pass additional pecorino at the table.
|More Kale In My Garden|
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