Gluten-Free Kale Pasta With Dill Pesto
I had a giant bunch of fresh dill just sitting in my refrigerator, and I had no idea what to do with it. I typically only use fresh dill when I make salmon — it’s lovely mixed with Greek yogurt, which I use as a sauce when salmon graces my plate.
But who needs a big bunch of fresh dill just for a little salmon sauce?
Then, a couple of days ago, I was at home pondering lunch, when I got the idea to make some pasta. I had just received a lovely bunch of fresh basil in my organic farm share. But as I looked at the basil, I had second thoughts about using it all in one pesto recipe. Getting organic, live, basil is a treat — and I didn’t want to blow through the whole thing in one meal.
Then, I had a flash of brilliance…why not make pesto with the fresh dill? Of course, I had never done that before. But I’m always up for an experiment.
I’m happy to say that this super green pasta project exceeded my expectations. And, I so happy to share this recipe with you.
And, what a great way to ‘green-up’ you day!
- 3 cups of chopped fresh dill (one large bunch should do. Only use the leaf; not the stem)
- 1 cup of almonds (I used shaved almonds)
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 1 tbsp of water
- up to 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 4-5 cups of gluten-free brown rice pasta (I like penne)
- 3 cups of chopped kale
- 1/2 cup of julienned yellow onion
- 1/2 lemon
- salt and pepper
- water to boil the pasta
- Into a food processor, place the fresh dill and almonds. Pulse the processor until the two are incorporated. The mixture will look like green sand.
- Add the 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1 tbsp of water, and 1/4 tsp of sea salt (to start). Turn the processor on, again, for 1-2 minutes. You want the pesto to be as smooth as possible.
- Taste the dill pesto. Ask yourself, ‘does it need more salt?’. If, yes, add one more 1/4 tsp of sea salt. Turn the processor back on.
- If you find that the dill pesto is too stiff, add one more tbsp of water.
- Make the Kale:
- Heat-up a large pan. Turn the heat down to medium/low heat, and add 2 tbsp of oil (grape seed or olive). Add the onion to the pan, and cook for 4 minutes. You want to cook the onion slowly, so that it will become lightly brown and sweet.
- Once the onion is lightly browned, add the chopped kale. Cook at medium to low heat for 7-8 minutes. Just cook the kale and onions, slowly. Stir the kale and onions, regularly. But, in between, place a lid on the mixture.
- Season the kale and onions with 2 pinches of salt and some pepper.
- When the kale and onions are done, turn off the heat, and scoop out the kale and onions onto a plate.
- Squeeze the juice of a 1/4 lemon onto the kale and onions.
- Make the pasta:
- Into a large pot of boiling water, place 4-5 cups of brown rice pasta. Cook until tender. Then, drain the pasta. When the pasta is drained, place it back in the large pot.
- Add a half a cup of the dill pesto to the pasta and stir. How much dill pesto you add is up to you, really. How green do you want your pasta? I like mine really green!
- Add the kale and onions to the pasta and stir.
- Taste the pasta, and season it with salt and pepper to taste.
- Squeeze the juice of 1/4 lemon on top of the pasta and stir.