Squash and kale risotto

Squash and kale risotto

Hadn’t done a risotto in a while and I was wondering what to do with the winter squash and kale I had around — so there ya go! Recipe was from here and proved pretty nice…

Kale, brown rice and tofu soup

Soup once more!

So I came back from my quick break home to Carmel suffering from a cold. (Classic plane journey situation I’m sure — so no thanks to whatever person on the flight up passed it along.) Given the warm weather, soup may seem counter-intuitive but given the cold, it was also just what I needed.

I adapted this recipe to create the end result — brown rice rather than wild, tofu instead of white beans, etc., but the whole was a treat. The stock was a homemade batch that had been in the freezer while I added some shiso from the garden to the kale. All that plus a second helping saved for later in the week to help burn out the remainder of the bug, if needed!

Kale and carrot salad

Kale and carrot salad

So this one grew out of the fact I had plenty of kale around, not much lettuce and little desire to cook or steam the kale, especially in this weather. As I had a lot of carrots too I did a bit of scrounging and found this recipe (it downloads as a PDF), which as it states:

This is a new twist on kale because it is not cooked. The acid from the lemon and orange juice actually soften and sweeten the kale.

Which it did! Extremely enjoyable results and a good hot weather dish, so give it a whirl…

Spaghetti with braised kale

Spaghetti with braised kale

While I’ve done a tomato-braised kale pasta dish before, doing one this way — using this recipe — was a first, and turned out very nicely! It’s one of those ‘rewards patience’ dishes, always a good thing — the time spent in finely cutting the kale was key, as was cooking it down along with the onion and garlic. Also, not too heavy considering it’s summer and all — makes a nice later in the evening dinner as was the case here.

White bean and kale soup with sausage

Tofu sausage of course, as is my preferred way to work at home. Adapted only slightly from this excellent recipe I found, so check it out — made a huge batch to carry me through the next week or so. Hearty for real winter eating but the weather’s been great recently; still it’ll be a nice way to see out what’s left of winter before spring kicks into high…at last.

Spaghetti with kale and miso

So I wanted to use the leftover wheat spaghetti from the tomato/kale/tofu recipe the other week, plus I had some new kale to use. A little scrounging turned up a variety of other recipes but this one was the winner. The addition of miso as the de facto sauce was a great touch, and the overall feeling was hearty and understandably very flavorful without being heavy.

Spaghetti with tomato-braised kale

So this came about due to a desire to use up some of the last kale before the next basket arrives on Thursday. Also, I hadn’t made any pasta for a while, so why not? I’d initially thought to make a straight marinara for some pierogis while steaming the kale separately, but a random search turned up this recipe, so I gave it a whirl instead.

Two main substitutions — I had no pancetta to hand (and pancetta is one of the very few meats I’ll cook at home), so I diced some pressed tofu and sauteed it in olive oil, while rather than tomato puree I went for some already diced canned tomatoes I had to hand. End result: v. tasty.

White bean/kale/miso soup

This is a bit of a riff on this recipe, but with a few switches and substitutions. Lacking tomatoes, I used some small summer squash I had around, while there was no onion used in the base. Meanwhile the beans were canned and ready to go, reducing the cooking time. In any event, all v. delicious, a bit heavy on the miso in terms of taste but no worries there!

Fusilli Pasta With Kale Pancetta And Oregano

This is an adaptation of this recipe, which as you can see is for a different kind of pasta. But fusilli is what I had, so hey! Pretty tasty if understated.

Caldo verde, redux

So when I did my first attempt at caldo verde I was pleased enough with the results. Turns out, though, that somebody who really knew her caldo verde noticed my post, as well as noticed that what I had made wasn’t really caldo verde.

Isabel, who is herself Portuguese, clearly knows her food in general and her spirit of cooking for herself when she likes fits in perfectly with my own way of things, so I was very interested to read her post and follow-up emails. I’ll quote her comment here:

Caldo Verde is extremely simple (and delicious), the only problem is that you need one specific type of cabbage. There:


So, you peel some potatoes and boil them with a little salt, moosh them thoroughly (it should not be be thick, but not too watery), bring to boil again and then add the cabbage cut in veeeeeery thin slices or strips. Bring to boil again and leave it boiling maybe no more than 5 minutes, add a good spoonful of olive oil and stop the heat. Add the sausage if you want and eat it as soon as possible. It should look like this:

The kale that I used in this preparation isn’t necessarily the cabbage Isabel notes, I think, but it’s a good big leafy one, and I think I definitely got closer! I should have mixed in the olive oil more, though. Turned out very nicely in any event — thanks Isabel!