I think kale, said to be one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet, may very well have replaced my love of spinach. Perhaps not replaced, but it may have moved a notch above!
This is a recipe I adapted from from my Pasta with Caramelized Onions and Spinach. The kale worked beautifully as a spinach replacement. Topped with walnuts, it made for a delicious dinner that my family thoroughly enjoyed.
You can also top this dish with a little bit of Parmesan cheese, or keep it vegan by sprinkling it with nutritional yeast or hemp seeds (one of my personal favorites) for an added protein punch.
Pasta with Kale, Walnuts, and Caramelized Onions
1 pound whole wheat pasta, cooked al dente
1/2 cup reserved pasta cooking water
3-4 large onions, sliced thin
1 bunch kale, washed, dried and roughly chopped
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped and lightly toasted
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese for topping (optional)
1. In a large skillet, add the olive oil and bring the pan up to a medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the onions along with a pinch of salt. Stir the onions in the oil, reduce the heat to medium low and cover. Let the onions cook for about 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the lid, stir the onions, and continue cooking until the onions are cooked down. (You can find more directions for caramelizing onions here.)
2. To the onions, add the minced garlic, thyme, another small pinch of salt, and some freshly cracked pepper. Cook for one minute.
3. Add the chopped kale along with another pinch of salt. Raise the heat to medium and cook the kale until it begins to wilt, about 4-5 minutes.
4. Toss the cooked pasta with 1-2 tablespoons additional olive oil and the kale/onion mixture. Adjust the seasoning to taste. Serve with chopped walnuts. You may thin the kale/onion mixture with the reserved pasta water, if you desire.