Ravioli salad with Tuscan kale

I could start off by noting how long it's been since my last entry and apologizing profusely, but I won't. Many things - both happy and sad - have happened in the past 6-ish months that have taken priority, including my third (and fourth) move in the past year, leaving a job, looking for a new one, family illnesses, and marrying Mr. Larson.  That last one was a good one.

On the business of nutrition and career direction, I have a lot of exciting things floating around at the moment that I'll be making public soon.  In the meantime, I'm loving married life and all the spare time I have to cook, work out, and write endless thank-you cards.
Homemade ravioli night has become a monthly tradition for Mike and I.  It's time-consuming, a labor of love, but well worth it.  It's an indulgence that comes around just rarely enough to feel like a real treat.  After our last ravioli fest a week ago, there were about 20 goat cheese, spinach, and Italian sausage -stuffed ravioli left, laid carefully on a sheet pan in our freezer.  It's only right to use them quickly, and this simple recipe certainly does them justice.  

I go through a lot of kale in my kitchen.  It's a powerhouse ingredient: just 1 cup packs 100 mg calcium, 100% of your daily vitamin C, 25% of your daily folate, and 400% of your daily vitamin K.  Most of it gets thrown into my morning smoothies along with lemon, a knob of ginger, and some frozen berries.  Other times it earns its place in soups because of its ability to hold up in liquids.  But it's also great raw, dressed simply, and combined with other great-tasting ingredients.  This is especially true for Tuscan kale, which is not as tough as other varieties.  Regardless of which type you prefer, if you let it sit with its dressing on for 5 minutes, it softens up quite a bit. 

Ravioli salad with Tuscan kale 
Serves 2

4 large stalks Tuscan (also called lacinato or dinosaur) kale
15-20 ravioli (your choice of filling)
1/4 cup pesto
  1. Tear the kale into bite-size pieces and place in a medium sized bowl.  Pour the pesto over the kale and massage it into the leaves to coat.  Let the kale sit, dressed, for 5 minutes to soften.
  2. While your kale softens, bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan.  Drop in the ravioli and boil to al dente.
  3. Drain the ravioli and toss with the kale, allowing the leaves to warm. Top with some good Parmesan cheese and toasted pine nuts. 

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