You can use curly kale or ornamental kale, though Tuscan kale works especially well. This kale stir-fry can be served as a side dish, or toss in grilled chicken strips and serve with a salad and oven-fresh bread on the side for a quick and easy main-dish meal. ASPARAGUS, MUSTARD GREENS AND KALE STIR-FRY SERVES 4
• 8 ounces multigrain penne pasta
• 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
• 2 carrots, cut into thin matchstick strips
• 1 large red bell pepper, cut into thick matchstick strips
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1/2 teaspoon sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon dried chile flakes
• 1 large bunch kale (about 1 pound), leaves cut into 1/2-inch slices; stems into 1/4-inch lengths
• 8 ounces mustard greens or dandelion greens, chopped
• 1 pound asparagus; washed, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
• 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
• 1 pound roma or other paste-type tomatoes, chopped
• 1/2 cup lightly packed chopped fresh basil
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup grated or shaved Pecorino Romano cheese or Asiago cheese
• Pepper and additional salt (if needed), to taste
1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well, transfer to a large serving bowl or platter, and then toss with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil. Set aside.
2. Heat remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrots, red pepper, garlic, sugar and chile flakes; sauté for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in kale, mustard greens, asparagus and vinegar; sauté for 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil and salt; cook for 1 to 2 minutes more or until vegetables are tender.
3. Spoon greens mixture over cooked pasta; toss well to combine. Transfer Kale Stir-Fry to a large serving dish or bowl. Top with shredded or shaved cheese and season with salt and pepper.
Kris Wetherbee is a contributing editor who lives and tends her herbs in western Oregon.
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