I love making pasta salads when entertaining because it’s easy to make a lot, not too pricey, filling, and they are great at room temperature. This pasta salad recipe is nicely balanced with beans and greens, and a store-bought pesto makes it so easy! I adapted BHG’s Italian Pesto Pasta Salad recipe by adding kale and pecans.
I pull the kale off the stalks and shred them into pieces by hand. After boiling the pasta, I throw the kale in that same pot, with a bit of olive oil, and saute´ briefly until wilted and bright green. I then toss the hot pasta with the greens, canned beans and pesto.
Chopped green scallions and toasted pecans can be sprinkled over the top before serving, or mixed in, for an extra crunchy kick.
This dish is great served warm or at room temperature, and is easily made ahead.
For the full recipe, click here. I simply substituted kale and pecans for the suggested arugula and pine nuts. The dish could also be made vegan by leaving out the cheese and using a dairy-free pesto. It could easily be made with gluten-free pasta as well. Enjoy!
Recipe adaptation and photos by Erin Gleeson for The Forest Feast, a cookbook and food blog inspired by living in a cabin in the woods.
Hi it’s Beth again. It seems that every year between Thanksgiving and Christmas, my schedule gets jam-packed and I barely have time eat dinner. And since the weather has finally reached bone-chilling temps, I find myself craving soup, stew, chili…anything I can throw into a slow cooker for a warm, satisfying meal. So I was delighted when I came across this recipe for Mediterranean Kale & Cannelini Stew with Farro. Not just because it’s a healthy option, but also because I’ve been meaning to try cooking with kale. And farro is supposed to be the hottest grain on the scene since quinoa.
While I didn’t have any farro on hand, my regular grocery store had it stocked in their health food section. They even had kamut, another ancient grain that you could use in the recipe, but I opted for farro. Kale was also readily available, and pretty cheap! Since I’m a kale newbie, I double checked how to prepare kale before using it in the recipe.
The most surprising part of this stew was how easy it was to throw together. The bag of farro said to let it soak for 8 hours. Since I’m normally not one to adhere strictly to directions, I let it soak for about an hour, drained it, and threw it in with my chopped veggies and totally delicious fire-roasted tomatoes (Did you guys know about fire-roasted tomatoes?! They are amazing and come canned and should be put in everything as far as I’m concerned.) But anyway, the farro still turned out great, despite the fact that I didn’t soak it for a day. And after de-stemming my kale, I ripped it into small pieces and threw it into my stew with the lemon juice, and let the stew simmer another hour.
As for the final dish? Seriously tasty and filling. I even forgot it was a vegetarian stew thanks to the hearty beans and kale. I would also recommend not skimping on the fresh basil and feta. I know basil can get spendy this time of year, but it’s definitely worth it because it was totally delicious and fresh as a topper and played off of the lemon juice and salty kale. So splurge on the basil, I say. It was so good, in fact, that’s I’m actually looking forward to freezing it so I can heat it up later whenever I need a quick and tasty dinner. Oh and don’t forget to serve it with crusty dippable bread! Because everything tastes better with a thick slice of crusty bread. Get the recipe here.