Thank You Melissa Clark

Just before Thanksgiving, Melissa Clark, a food columnist for the New York Times included a recipe for kale pesto with roasted winter squash and pasta.

This version of the pesto is made with collard greens.

This version of the pesto is made with collard greens.

When I first tried the recipe during the Thanksgiving holiday, we’d already gone to the store about 10 times. So now we were dependent on the contents of the fridge, foraging on our dog walks, and a friend’s garden. We came up with collards, chard, and mustard greens. The result was amazing. Doubly so when the proclaimed “no-greens-for-me” crowd came back for seconds.

I’ve made the recipe three times but not yet with the prescribed main ingredient: dinosaur kale.  The pesto is just very quickly blanched kale given a kick with garlic, richness from toasted pine nuts and olive oil, and then freshened with lemon juice and zest. Tthe original recipe did not include chili flake but this is always, in my house, a good idea and I have some Turkish red pepper I use.

Toss generous amounts of the jewel-green pesto with pasta and roasted winter squash or pumpkin (musque de Provence pumpkin in my case!). Serve with good, crusty bread and pass any remaining pesto at table.

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Thanks again for a great boost in getting our kitchen functioning. What a difference! I can actually get implements out of the drawer without a struggle. I made a carrot salad for dinner with no hassle because the Cuisinart was at hand to shred the carrots! Yay!

-Francesca Bannerman, SF

About Penni

Over 30 years as a food and wine professional, writer, and editor.

Cookbook author including:
'The Tra Vigne Cookbook' for Michael Chiarello,
'The Basque Kitchen' for Gerald Hirigoyen
and 'BurgerBar' for Hubert Keller.

Contact Penni Wisner