The sun came out for the first time in several long, rainy days, and so did my appetite for something light and fresh. Goat cheese lemon and kale pasta salad has all my favorites tossed together in under 30 minutes. Pasta tends to be a go-to for me when I need something super quick. I used farfalle (bow ties), because if we’re working with something as incredible as goat cheese, we want to make sure the noodles soak up as much of it as possible. Saute some garlic and shallot with a small bunch of kale, and top with a big splash of lemon juice. Super refreshing, super easy, and I’m crazy about the pop you get from the lemon.
There’s a reason why kale is so popular lately. It has a wonderful sweet, earthy flavor, plus it’s an anti-oxident powerhouse. Sauteed kale with fresh lemon juice becomes the heart of this recipe. Marry over at the Health and Fitness Shop has an excellent article about the wide variety of kale benefits. She has some great ideas about how to enjoy kale, as well as a thorough nutritional breakdown- ranging from Vitamin K to lowering cholesterol. Check out her 6 Benefits of Kale page and learn something new- like did you know kale naturally reduces stress?!
First bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well and return back to the pot.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add in the garlic and shallot and saute, stirring often, for about 4 minutes, or until tender. Add in the crushed red pepper flakes and black pepper for a little kick.
Coarsely chop a small bunch of kale, removing the stems. You should end up with about 5 cups worth. Stir in the kale until it has slightly withered down.
Add in the lemon zest and lemon juice, stirring between each addition. Cook until kale leaves are wilted and tender, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat.
While drained pasta is still hot, crumble in the goat cheese, mixing between each addition. Stir until every noodle is coated. I love working with goat cheese because its flavor is so mild, but it’s so creamy!
Transfer noodles to the lemon kale mixture and toss to combine. Serve immediately.
This recipe makes 4-6 servings. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Recipe adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod.