Savoring the Seasons: Welcoming kale season

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For The Recorder
Published: 6/14/2016 3:31:30 PM

Roaming around farmers markets and farm stands in recent weeks, I was glad to see that kale is available. I think of kale as a “later season” green. But actually, kale season stretches from now until there’s snow on the ground and it can be stored in paper bags in garages or other places that freeze and thaw. That freezing and thawing sweetens the kale, and hanging it in the garage keeps the deer from snacking on it.

Meanwhile, it’s almost winter solstice where my sister lives in Australia, but it never snows there and she doesn’t have backyard deer like I do. Martha sent me a recipe that combines kale with marinated goat cheese and caramelized onions. It sounds quite easy to marinate the cheese and I’m already pondering other uses for it. I’m wondering whether a summer version of this dish would work, served cold with a smaller pasta shape and perhaps a splash of balsamic vinegar. Or, perhaps the marinated goat cheese would be a tasty addition to a cold massaged kale salad?

I have several friends who whir up kale in their morning green smoothies as a way to “drink their green vegetables.”  

What are your favorite ways to enjoy kale? Please send me recipes … there are many months ahead to savor kale.

This week we’re eating …Whole wheat fettuccine with kale, caramelized onions and marinated goat’s cheese

Shared by Martha McClintock, Melbourne,
Australia (adapted from a recipe by Amy Chaplin on an Australian website: goo.gl/ubauAt)

2 T. extra virgin olive oil

3 medium to large red onions, thinly sliced

sea salt

12 oz. whole wheat fettuccine

10 C. sliced lacinato kale (from about 1½ bunches)

8 oz. marinated goat’s cheese (marinade reserved), at room temperature

freshly ground black pepper

Marinated goat’s cheese

8 oz. fresh goat’s cheese log, sliced into ½ inch rounds

½ C. extra virgin olive oil

8 thyme sprigs

½ tsp. whole peppercorns

3 garlic cloves, halved lengthways

4 bay leaves

To make marinated goat’s cheese, lay goat’s cheese in single layer on bottom of dry, wide-mouth pint jar. Pour in enough olive oil to cover cheese. Add a couple sprigs of thyme, a few peppercorns, 2 pieces garlic, and a bay leaf. Continue layering remaining cheese, oil and seasonings until you have used up all ingredients. Lightly press last layer of cheese down to make sure it’s completely submerged in oil. Seal jar and place in fridge to marinate for one week before using. Cheese will keep for at least two months. Bring to room temperature before serving. 

To make pasta, warm olive oil in large frying pan over medium heat and add onions. Sauté for 10 minutes or until beginning to brown. Add 1 tsp. salt, lower heat slightly and continue cooking for 15 to 20 minutes more or until onions are soft and caramelized. Meanwhile, bring  large pan of water to boil and add large pinch of salt. When onions are caramelized, add fettuccine to boiling water and cook for 10 to 12 minutes until al dente. Drain pasta and return to pan. While pasta cooks, stir kale into onions, cover frying pan and cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until tender, stirring once or twice. Add onion and kale mixture, three quarters (6 oz.) of  marinated goat’s cheese and lots of black pepper to pasta; toss well. Drizzle in a tablespoon or or more of oil marinade from the cheese and season to taste. Divide among bowls and top with a crumble of remaining goat’s cheese; serve immediately.

Note: The cheese will spoil if it isn’t covered at all times. If you remove pieces, make sure remaining cheese is covered, adding more oil as needed, before closing lid. The oil from marinated goat's cheese is luscious drizzled over toast or pasta, with or without cheese, or use it in salad dressings. Keep any leftover oil in fridge ready to use. 

Local food advocate and community organizer Mary McClintock lives in Conway and works as a freelance writer for Greenfield Community College, brand promoter for Goshen-based local food company Appalachian Naturals, and writer/editor for More Than Sound. Send column suggestions and recipes to: mmcclinto@yahoo.com


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