Kale is probably one of the most popular greens right now – and for good reason! It is an extremely versatile food that can be used in salads, soups and stews, and even turned into chips. This superfood is rich in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as fiber, calcium and iron. Like other cruciferous veggies – think broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage – kale contains phytochemicals that may help protect against cancer. Kale is in-season right now, so very readily accessible, either from your own garden (lucky you!) or through your farmers’ market, co-op, or local supermarket.
This recipe is one of our own employee’s favorites (she says she always like to add extra sesame!). Easy and quick to prepare, it combines the taste of sesame with kale will surely make the dinner rotation.
Sesame Noodles with Kale
• 1 large bunch kale (1¼ to 1½ lbs)
• 12 oz. udon, soba, spaghetti or fettuccine (whatever pasta you like)
• 2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
• 2 Tbsp tamari
• 1 Tbsp tahini
• 2 Tbsp toasted white or black sesame seeds
• Shredded (or ribboned) carrots and chopped green onion to top it off (optional)
1. Bring a large (very large) pan of water to a boil. In the meantime prepare the kale. Hold the bunch of kale together and slice off and discard the thickest part of stems (about 1 inch). Still holding the kale in a bunch, slice the remaining stems and leaves as thin as you can. Set the kale in a sink (or large bowl) full of water and swish vigorously to remove any grit. (Repeat this process with fresh water if the kale seems especially sandy.) Lift out the kale, place it in a colander, and rinse thoroughly.
2. Add the pasta to boiling water and cook 5 minutes less than indicated on the package. Add kale stems and leaves in a few batches, pressing down with back of a large spoon to submerge each batch. Continue cooking, uncovered, over high heat until the kale and pasta are tender, about 5 minutes. (The kale tends to remain on top of the pasta. Press it underwater from time to time with back of a large spoon.)
3. Drain the pasta and kale and return to the pot. Add sesame oil, tamari and tahini (you can mix this together ahead of time, or just add it straight on) and toss with a fork. Taste and add more sesame oil and tamari, if necessary. Add sesame seeds and toss again. Top with carrots and onions.