Ruffles are still in vogue for summer fashion, so why not carry the theme through to your summer cuisine? Kale, nature's most ruffly green, is a nutritional powerhouse -- packed with vitamins A&C, beta-carotene and lutein! Healthy and delicious too, Kale harmonizes beautifully with lemon, feta and orzo pasta in this quick and easy pasta salad:
Orzo Pasta with Lemon & Kale
1 small onion or 2 large shallots, diced
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
5 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 bunch of kale, thick stems and ribs removed, leaves chopped (approx. 10 ounces)
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 pound dried orzo pasta
Zest of one lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
5 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
3 teaspoons kosher salt
pepper to taste
crumbled bacon or toasted pine nuts for garnish (optional)
Step 1: Bring a large pot of water up to boil for the orzo. Cook according to package's instructions. While orzo is cooking, prepare kale:
Step 2: Heat 2 TB olive oil in a large saucepan. Add onion and saute for 5 minutes over medium-high heat, till translucent and lightly browned.
Step 3: Add chopped kale, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and chicken stock. Cover and simmer over medium heat for five minutes.
Step 4: Remove lid and stir kale. If pan is dry, add a bit more chicken stock. Cover with lid again and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Step 5: Remove lid and stir. Continue to cook until kale is completely wilted and all moisture has evaporated.
Step 6: When pasta is ready, drain and set aside in a large bowl. While still warm, toss in feta cheese and kale/onion mixture.
Step 7: In a small bowl, whisk together remaining 3 Tablespoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Whisk until well combined (about 2 minutes). Pour over the orzo and stir to combine. Pepper to taste.
Step 8: Chill at least 2 hours. Best when chilled overnight.
Serve with a garnish of crumbled bacon or toasted pine nuts