Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Red Russian Invasion

My parents had a fairly good-sized garden when I was growing up. I became familiar with so many vegetables that by the time I reached adulthood, I felt I had a good understanding of the vegetable kingdom. I have been surprised to hear how many people have not heard of certain vegetables, ones I find as common as a carrot. A co-worker of mine had never had eggplant before; she was in her 40s. My mother use to prepare eggplant by slicing, dipping it in breading and frying it. It was a dinner item we all looked forward to. The eggplant would be fresh from the garden, and maybe that is why I had such fondness for it.

However, in all this time of gardening, my parents never grew kale. I guess when my parents thought of greens it was either lettuce for us or swiss chard for our guinea pigs. Somehow the guineas would know when you went outside to the garden to pick some of the chard. As you walked past the outdoor window of their room, you could hear incessant squeaking, anticipating the green freshness coming their way.

Luckily I was introduced to nutritious kale many years back. Since then, I have made dishes for my parents and convinced them to try growing it in their garden. Now that they live further away, I look for my favorite type of kale every time I go to the local Farmer’s Market. My favorite is the Red Russian Kale. I don’t know why you can’t find it with the other kales at grocery stores, but it is a rarity. This recipe can be made with any kale, but if you get a chance, pick up some of the Red Russian. It’s like a really good secret that you are lucky enough to hear.

Kale, Sun Dried Tomato & Bean Pasta

8 oz. Pasta (Spaghetti, Penne, Spirals)
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
4 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 bunch Kale, chopped
½ cup Sun-Dried Tomatoes
½ cup Hot Water
1 15 oz can White Beans
1 Tb Balsamic Vinegar
½ tsp Salt

Prepare pasta as directed. Add the hot water to the sun-dried tomatoes to reconstitute and set aside. Sauté garlic in olive oil until golden on medium heat. Add the chopped kale and sauté until kale starts to lose volume. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and sauté until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Add beans, balsamic vinegar and salt, stirring contents until all is covered. Heat another few minutes. Serve on top of pasta and sprinkle with nutritional yeast if desired. Enjoy.


millie said...

i have russian red kale in my garden! so yummy. speaking of yummy i will try this pasta recipe very soon :)

was lovely to meet you today; hope to see you again soon at a future meetup :D

btw, do you have any more photos of spike? what a weird looking little dude.

Krissy said...

Yum, this looks great. I am going to make it. Great entry.

Jessica said...

You make me wish I was eating more pasta!

p.s. the spider is totally cute! seriously.

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

oops, that was me..

elizabet said...

rad! that recipe looks terrific...
So can I request and Alfredo sauce based on Vegenaise?


nzlndr00 said...

i love pastas with beans and greens! always a good choice!

Anonymous said...

Not sure if this will reach you since this post is so dated, but, do you intend for the sun-dried tomato soaking water to be added during cooking?

Chelsea said...

Yes, the soaking sun dried tomatoes are added along with any liquid not absorbed. Let me know if you have any other questions. Enjoy!