Kale Almond Pesto

Mary Ann and I visited the Brentwood Farmer’s Market this afternoon in search of fresh ingredients for our Sunday night dinner. We had fun sampling foods, people watching and picking out produce. An hour later we left the market with heirloom tomatoes, wild arugula, baby kale, basil, apple cinnamon goats cheese, raspberry honey, berries, and almonds! I played chopped with produce left in my fridge and made a Tuscan kale almond pesto. I roasted the heirloom tomatoes and some purple peppers with some extra virgin olive oil and garlic salt, and cut up some calabrese salami. I tossed rotini pasta with the pesto, tomatoes, peppers, basil and salami and topped it with red pepper flakes. As a side dish I made a baby kale and arugula salad with some avocado, candied walnuts, pomegranate seeds and my champagne vinaigrette. While the tomatoes and peppers were roasting, and the pasta was cooking we snacked on an appetizer of whole grain bread with the apple cinnamon goats cheese and a drizzle of honey. The colors on our plates were beautiful! I was skeptical of kale almond pesto because of how much I love basil, but it was fresh, nutritious and had a beautiful bright green color! Tonight’s meal was a great celebration of the produce of California!

1 small bunch Tuscan kale
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup lightly toasted almonds
1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
pinch of red pepper flakes
juice of one lime
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

In a food processor, combine the garlic, almonds and pulse to chop. Add the kale, parmesan, red pepper flakes, water, lime juice, 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper and pulse to combine. Turn the processor on and drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil until you get your ideal consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning/add more kale leaves as needed.

Roasted Fig + Grape Oatmeal

Last week my farm box surprised me a with box of black mission figs. I thought about using them to make Fig and Prosciutto Flatbread, Fig Jam or some sort of panini. I ultimately decided to switch up my regular oatmeal routine so I roasted the figs and some grapes with a little bit of brown sugar and extra virgin olive oil. I loved the sweetness and crunchy texture of the figs along with the warm roasted grapes. I did not miss the chocolate in my breakfast! I used the rest of my roasted figs and grapes as a topping for my daily yogurt with granola.
4 fresh figs, quartered
1/4-1/2 cup grapes
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1-2 tbsp brown sugar
1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
1 cup almond milk

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the fig quarters and grapes on a baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle the  brown sugar on top of the figs and grapes.
Place in the oven and roast until the figs and grapes are soft and bubbling, about 6-8 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare oatmeal. I simply use the microwave, putting the oatmeal in a bowl, pouring in the almond milk and microwaving for 1.5 minutes. Microwaves are not created equal. In Michigan my oatmeal is done in 1 minute. Alternatively you can cook oatmeal on the stove by bringing the required amount of water to a simmer and adding the oats and stirring until the oats are cooked through.
When serving, place the oatmeal in bowls, add the roasted figs and grapes, and top with a little more brown sugar. Serve immediately.