Kale is a fantastic veggie for the kitchen gardener to have a go at growing, if you haven’t already. It’s easy to grow…planting it in the autumn means you can keep harvesting from it over the winter. Unlike lots of veggies, it’s frost hardy and actually gets sweeter in flavour in the colder weather.
I like to grow our own kale so that I can pick what I need, as I need it, so it’s super fresh (meaning best flavour), and I know that it’s pesticide free.
Kale is exceptionally good for you too. It’s been hailed as a superfood as it has high levels of a range of vitamins including Vitamins A, C, E and K, has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, and has been shown in some studies to have anti-cancer properties.
It’s a versatile veggie that tastes great, and I especially love it paired with lemony flavours, such as in this dish. And for those not so keen on their greens, you can easily add some shredded kale to sauces and soups to give fussy eaters a big boost of hidden veggie goodness.
In this recipe, I have used Russian Kale, which is softer and so needs less cooking time than the tougher Tuscan Kale, or Cavelo Nero as it’s also known, but you could use that too and adjust the cooking time accordingly.
1 x 500g packet dried spaghetti
1 large bunch kale
1 small bunch of broccolini, cut into florets
3-4 spring onions – white parts sliced (set aside the greens to use in your salad)
4 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to serve
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 preserved lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
Sea salt & black pepper
Freshly shaved parmesan cheese, to serve
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, and cook spaghetti as per packet instructions. Cook until al dente, then drain and toss through some olive oil. Cover until needed.
Meanwhile, trim and thoroughly wash the kale. Remove excess water using a salad spinner or clean tea towel, then remove the stems and chop coarsely.
Using a sharp knife, remove the rind from the preserved lemon. Discard the pith and flesh. Finely chop the preserved lemon rind then set aside.
When the pasta is nearly ready, heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and spring onions and cook lightly to soften.
Add the kale and broccolini. Saute until the kale is wilted and just tender. Don’t overcook or your greens will be brown, not green!
Stir through the preserved lemon and lemon juice, then season with sea salt and black pepper to taste. Add the kale to the warm pasta and stir through. Toss through more olive oil if needed. Serve immediately, topped with freshly shaved parmesan if desired.