I can't believe we had a frost last night. I planted all my summer vegetables over the weekend, so I had to frantically put tarps down and carry all my containers to the garage. I actually did all this Sunday night and left it in place until this morning, since yesterday was so cold. I really hope that this was winter's last hurrah - I want to be eating fresh spring veggies from my garden soon!
Since strawberries and radishes and peas aren't ready, I've been contenting myself with cold-hardy greens from the farmer's market (and gorging myself on asparagus - one of those recipes is coming soon). I threw this dish together for lunch the other day. It's fast, fresh and tasty.
If you've never used green garlic before, I recommend trying to get your hands on some. I got mine from the farmers market a few weeks ago. My guess is that the farm was thinning its rows of garlic and decided to sell the thinnings - and why not? They have a delicious fresh garlic flavor - strong, but without the bite of storage garlic cloves. Green garlic looks like a green onion, but should be treated like a leek - strip the old layers off, cut off the roots, and slice up the white and light green portions to use. The leaves go in the compost (or the stock bag!). It added a nice fresh flavor to the kale. If you can't find green garlic, regular garlic cloves or garlic scapes would work well here, too.
Fettucine with Kale, Green Garlic and Lemon
6 oz whole wheat fettucine
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 stems green garlic (about 1 - 1 1/2 tbsp)
1 tsp red pepper flakes
3-4 c kale leaves, stripped from stems and ripped into bite-size pieces
zest and juice from 1/2 lemon
2 oz Pecorino-Romano cheese, shredded
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water according to package directions.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the green garlic and red pepper flakes and saute about 1 minute, until fragrant. Add the kale and saute 3-4 minutes, tossing with garlic.
If the kale does not look cooked through at the end of 3-4 minutes, toss 2 tbsp water in the pan and quickly cover. Let the kale steam for a minute or two to finish cooking.
When the pasta is finished, drain (reserving 1/4 c water) and add to the pan with the kale. Add the lemon juice and zest and stir to combine. Add a bit of pasta water if necessary (I only needed a 2-3 tbsps). Serve topped with grated Pecorino-Romano.