Adrienne Gajownik

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Kale pistachio pesto

Monday marks our one year anniversary. It's crazy that a whole year has already passed since we said I do in a grassy field outside the place we met.

My cooking style has adapted as I've spent the last year learning how to cook for two. It's been a fun challenge trying new recipes for a person with their own food preferences and allergies. Goodbye, raw olive oil. Some nights I could just eat soup and call it dinner, but that's not his style. He needs something heartier and preferably with chicken. I wish I would have written down all the recipes I've tried with checkmarks for yes, definitely make again or a big X for no, never again. Don't get me wrong, I still make my favorite dishes and enjoy soup for dinner, but I make something extra for him (or he makes french toast). It's all about compromise.
I've never been a big pasta person, but dinner can be done in less than 15 minutes and I know he approves. I've been buying brown rice pasta and really like the flavor. Plus it seems lighter than traditional pasta and it's easier on the digestive system. We both prefer pesto over tomato sauce. I was out of basil, but had a giant bunch of kale and a bag of pistachios, so this is what resulted. This pesto doesn't have the sharp bite of basil, but a smooth, nutty flavor. We both approve.
I also sautéed half a red onion, the rest of the kale, garlic, and sun dried tomatoes to mix into the pasta. And he added sautéed chicken to his.

Kale pistachio pesto
2 c uncooked kale, chopped
1/3 c pistachios, shelled and unsalted
1/4 olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp red chili flakes
1 tsp lemon zest
juice of one lemon
1/4 c parsley, roughly chopped
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Bring a pot of water to a boil, toss in the kale along with a pinch of salt. Let cook until the leaves turn bright green, almost 2 minutes. Then submerge leaves into a bowl of ice water to stop them from cooking. Squeeze kale to get all the excess water out. Set aside.

Heat olive oil over low-to-medium heat. When it's hot, add the garlic and red chili flakes. Cook until fragrant about 4 minutes.

Add oil, pistachios, lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, sea salt, pepper, and kale to a food processor. Process until smooth. Add more oil, if it's too dry. Now mix into just cooked pasta, whole grains, or spread onto a pizza.