by Shelly Barnes, Extension Agent, Family, and Consumer Sciences, Wilson County, TN
My mom recently gathered me one of her last bags of home-grown greens before it goes to seed. It made me think of the popularity of Kale a few years ago. While this recipe is great using Kale, if you’d like to use a microgreen mixture it would suit this recipe very well. This recipe is great for a summer picnic, a family get together or just a nice summer lunch for the office. Kale and other leafy greens are very nutritional. They are packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber but low in calories. According to the USDA Nutrition Center, eating a diet rich in dark leafy greens can offer health benefits including reduced risk of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and others.
Kale Caesar Pasta Salad
Makes 10 servings
- 1 pound bowtie pasta
- 1 pint small tomatoes (grape or cherry)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil Salt and ground pepper
- 1 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped
- 2 cups creamy Caesar dressing (1 cup and the rest is to taste)
- 4 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated
- Bring a pot of water to boil and season with salt. Cook the pasta. Drain and place in large bowl.
- Preheat oven to 425˚F. Place the tomatoes on small tray, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and toss. Season with salt and black pepper. Roast about 8-10 minutes.
- Chop kale into small pieces and add to the pasta and tomatoes. Pour 1 cup of dressing onto salad and gently toss. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Refrigerate for hour before serving.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
- Smaller leaves for tenderness and mild flavor, especially if you plan to eat the greens raw.
- Moist, crisp and unwilted leaves without tiny holes that indicate insect damage.
- Stems in good condition since they are also edible.
HOW TO STORE
- Wrap unwashed kale in damp paper towels, then store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper for 3 to 5 days.
- Wash thoroughly and cut off woody stems. Water blanch for 2 minutes. Cool, drain and package in freezer bags or containers, leaving ½-inch headspace. Seal and freeze.
KALE CAESAR PASTA SALAD NUTRITION FACTS: Serving size ½ cup, Calories 353, Total Fat 16g, Sodium 309mg, Total Carbohydrate 43g, Dietary Fiber 3g, Protein 9g