Kale and Pistachio Pasta

Kale from our garden in pasta with ground pistachios. And an egg.

Here comes another quick 30-minute meal.  I was feeling lazy and didn’t want to go to the supermarket, so I snipped a few leaves of kale from the backyard to add to spaghetti.

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 leaves of kale chopped finely
  • 1/4 cup pistachio
  • garlic
  • 1 dried chile (I used cayenne, but crushed red chili works)
  • half a lemon
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • pasta (I used spaghetti)

Boil water and cook pasta to just before it’s done.  While the pasta is cooking, sautee chopped garlic, crushed chile, and kale leaves in olive oil on low heat.  Salt that mixture to taste, but it’s ok if it’s a little under salted if you’re used salted pistachios like I did. When the pasta is about to be done, add in a few teaspoons more oil and the crushed pistachio to the pan and toss to mix the ingredients.

When the pasta is just about done, turn the pan with the kale’s heat to high, add in the pasta and 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid.  Stir and toss to distribute everything. This should make a sticky, creamy sauce as it cooks down.  If the pasta is still too chewy for your taste, add more pasta cooking liquid. Salt to taste.  When it’s done, turn off the heat, squeeze half a lemon over it, stir, and it’s done.

For a complete meal, I like topping it with a runny fried egg.

Sauteed Zucchini Noodles

I’m constantly amazed at how good simple, fresh vegetables can be. These zucchini noodles that I threw together on a whim for lunch came out better than I thought, mostly because I’m always skeptical about pasta-substitutes. I don’t have a gluten intolerance, so I wasn’t searching for a non-wheat pasta, but rather, a way to use up the bountiful zucchini and handful of okra that’s popping out of my backyard.

Zucchini, okra and basil from the garden transformed into garlicky zucchini noodles and #putaneggonit.

Ingredients:

  • 1 zucchini (size depends on your portion size)
  • 2-3 okras
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ground sumac
  • ground aleppo pepper (or cayenne)
  • 1 hard boiled egg
  • a few leaves basil (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Using a box grater or the shredder attachment on a mandoline, grate the zucchini into long, thin noodles. I like using the box grater on its side and sliding the zucchini lengthwise down it like a mandoline.  Dump the pieces into a kitchen towel or cheesecloth and squeeze out the excess liquid. Set that aside.

In a frying pan on medium heat, fry up a smashed clove of garlic in a few teaspoons of olive oil until it’s golden brown. Remove the garlic if you don’t like biting into a giant piece of garlic with your meal. Sprinkle in a shake of aleppo pepper and ground sumac.  Slice the okra into coins and toss into the pan with a pinch of salt.  After about a minute of stirring, put in the zucchini, another pinch of salt, a healthy shake of black pepper.  Stir for another minute to warm the zucchini noodles through, and turn off the heat.  This literally takes no time to cook since you don’t want the zucchini to get too mushy.

If you opted for the basil, cut the basil into thin shreds and sprinkle on top.  Transfer the whole thing onto a plate and top with slices of boiled egg. If boiled egg is not your thing, this would probably be good with a fried egg.  You can even wrap the whole thing in a taco if you want some carbs.

Simple Zucchini and Basil Soup

Almost 2lb zucchini and a bunch of basil. Grocery shopping from the backyard.

This zucchini and basil soup recipe is so simple but so good. Even without any cream, it had a rich, creamy texture. I bet it would be good as a chilled soup too.  It was perfect for using our soon-to-be bounty of zucchini and basil.

Zucchini and basil soup.I think we’ll be having this soup a lot this summer. It would probably go well with a simple tomato salad and crusty bread with cheese.