Lemon garlic linguine with kale is a delicious and easy to make weeknight dinner. Adding fresh kale gives this dish a burst of color and health benefits.
As our unseasonably cool spring and mid-summer are delaying the harvest of more fun vegetables, my weekly CSA basket can best be described as All the Kales with a Little Chard For Good Measure. As such, this summer has been dedicated to eating our greens in as many forms as possible. Good thing too, because all those greens are chocked full of vitamins and iron, making them some seriously good fuel for the body.
Besides snacking on crispy kale chips, I’ve managed to work sautéed kale into a fantabulous lasagna, and broke my morning fast a time or two with chard in place of fresh spinach in this lovely tart.
I guess it’s safe to say that I prefer to eat my fibrous greens buried in carbohydrates and cheese. You know…to balance out all that iron. 😉
Perhaps my favorite way to have worked more leafy greens into our diet is in this simply dressed, citrus-tinged pasta that’s just loaded with garlic and kale.
Lemon Garlic Linguine with Kale is a speedy weeknight meal that is a fresh, clean, hearty meal that makes the most of summer greens.
Lemon Garlic Linguine with Kale is a luxurious way to carb-up while still eating your greens.
This meal couldn’t be any easier if it were take out! Prepare the linguine in a large stock pot of salted boiling water, according to package directions. While the pasta is cooking, tend to the rest of the ingredients.
Start by rinsing a bunch of kale under cold water to remove any debris. Any type of kale will do. I opted for a variety of species.
Remove the center ribs from the leaves, and discard them. Chop the leaves into 2-inch pieces. Grab a lemon and peel a few cloves of garlic.
Thinly slice the garlic, and then zest the lemon.
Set a skillet over medium heat, and then sauté the garlic in melted butter until both are nicely browned. Keep a close eye on the garlic because it goes from nicely browned to charred beyond recognition in a manner of seconds. Transfer the garlic to a small dish, leaving as much butter as possible in the skillet.
The crisped garlic really adds an extra punch of flavor to the overall dish.
Add the chopped kale to the skillet, stirring to coat in the butter. Cook the kale over medium heat, stirring occasionally, while it wilts from the heat.
The kale should wilted and soft after about five minutes.
At this point, the linguine should be done cooking. Turn off the heat, and scoop out some of the pasta water; setting it aside to use to dress the pasta. I like to reserve more of the water than I think I’ll need, just in case the linguine absorbs more of the sauce than expected, so that I always have a little more that can be added to keep it from drying out.
Drain the pasta.
While the linguine is draining, squeeze some fresh lemon juice into the skillet with the wilted kale.
Add most of the reserved pasta water, browned garlic, lemon zest, and a little fresh, finely grated Romano cheese. Simmer the sauce for one minute to allow for the flavors to meld. The cheese should melt and virtually disappear. Taste the sauce before seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. The sauce is very light–almost more of a dressing–so none of the flavors should overpower the others.
Turn off the heat, then add the linguine to the skillet, tossing it to coat. Allow the linguine to rest for a few minutes to absorb some of the sauce.
Serve Lemon Garlic Linguine with Kale topped with additional lemon zest, finely grated Romano cheese, and a hunk of crusty garlic bread.