As I sit here typing, I am catching a glimpse of my pea vines out the window. They’re more than five feet high — almost as tall as me! The petite white flowers, blossoming all over are really quite beautiful! Oh wait! I just spotted an actual pea pod, no wait. Two! So they are already starting to produce peas. What a wonderful way to wake up on this hot and sticky Thursday June morning and the orange and yellow Nasturtium (edible flowers) happily blooming in the flower box add to this lovely sight. And to think two months back that my husband was worried about curb appeal!
To say my garden (especially the kale) is thriving is an understatement. It’s crowded, which would make some gardeners unhappy, but for me, I’m thrilled. As Newcombe promised in the Postage Stamp Gardening book, there is hardly any weeding, especially in the places that are crowded. And that’s great for me, since I have no time or patience to be pulling weeds.
But what to do with all this kale! Since we’re having a heat wave in the metro NY area, the idea of hot soup is truly unappealing. I needed something refreshing, light and delicious, so I decided to create a kale pesto, which I tossed on pasta with a handful of fresh peas from the farmer’s market and a sprinkling of mint. It was delicious and enjoyed by everyone (except my finicky thirteen year old who couldn’t handle the lemon flavor). I hope you enjoy!
Lemony Kale Pesto
Makes 1 cup
As with traditional Italian basil pesto, kale pesto can be used as a spread for sandwiches or as a sauce for pasta. The lemon juice and mint make this especially light and refreshing on a hot summer day.
6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
½ cup olive oil plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups kale, washed and tough stems removed
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
½ cup fresh mint leaves, washed
Juice from one lemon
Pepper to taste
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small saucepan. Sauté the garlic for a minute or two. Transfer to a Cuisinart with the olive oil, kale, salt, cheese, mint, lemon and salt and pepper. Puree for several minutes until smooth.
Serve over pasta with a handful of cooked garden peas and mint as pictured above.