It’s a warm summer day, and my nephew has come over to hang out. He is definitely a picky eater. Doesn’t eat alot and is distracted by childhood play. He loved sushi when he was young. He would always talk about pumpkin sushi. I never tried it but he would rave about it, even at the young age of 3. But despite all this talking about food, he never really ate much or enjoyed eating. Now, he is definitely growing a more refined sophisticated palate but talks about food in a way that makes me think he would try something new and different.
So our task for today is to make a healthy, quick, tasty dish that can satisfy my nephew’s palate and also ours. At home, we prepare meals based on what we have available. We definitely buy items based on what we want to cook. But if I want to make a pasta dish that includes maybe spinach and parmesan but I only have kale, I’ll substitute. Say I have no parmesan cheese at home but I have Asiago, then that’ll do. Waste not want not. Ingredients do make the dish and any herbs and spices you add can transform a dish to your liking.
So, using what we had from our weekly Hilltop Hanover Farm share and items in our fridge and pantry… Green garden pesto emerged. We were running low on time and within 20 minutes, lunch was on the table. And by the looks of the bowls, we all LOVED it. Easy, simple,resourceful, yummy!
- Box of whole wheat penne pasta(or any shape you like).
- One large garlic scape and one long shallot flower including green stem(sub with two cloves garlic and one shallot).
- 4-5 sun dried tomatoes
- 5-6 lacinato kale leaves (use any green leaf- spinach is great here)
- 1 lb of boneless chicken thighs chopped into 1 inch pieces.
- 1/4- 1/2 cup of heavy cream/half half or whole milk
- 1 cup of Asiago cheese( you can sub for parmesan cheese)
- fresh oregano( optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil
- Boil pasta according to box directions.
- Chop sun dried tomatoes into thin strips.
- Finely chop garlic scapes and shallot flowers.
- Peel the kale leaves off the rib
- Roll the leaves together and finely chop the leaves to get a ribbon like appearance.
- On a separate cutting board ( you may use the same one if you are done with all the vegetable prepping). cut chicken into 1 inch pieces.
- Pour 2-3 tbsp of oil in to pan. Place pan on medium heat on stove. Add shallot flowers and garlic scape to pan and stir to saute. Add a few pinches of salt.
- Add sun dried tomatoes and stir to saute.Add 2 dashes of paprika. This is more for color and a smoky flavor(perfectly optional)
- After this is softened, add the chicken to pan.
- Saute chicken until is white on the outside and it is more seared . Note: If the pan is not hot enough, the chicken will boil/steam rather than sear. this should take 5-7 minutes to cook completely.
- Add chopped kale, stir for 30 seconds.
- Add fresh oregano( optional). You may chop the leaves or just pull some off from stem and throw into dish.
- Add 3/4 cup of Asiago cheese. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Add milk( If you add cream, you get a thicker sauce). I had milk and so used that.
- Add pasta. Stir completely. Close with lid, place on low-medium heat for another 10 minutes. When done. stir one last time.
- Serve pasta dish in bowl and sprinkle some Asiago cheese on top. Enjoy!