I’m at our cabin right now. Two hours from home and it smells different here, out of the city. There’s no traffic, no congestion, no hurry up and wait, just water and trees and friendly people in a tiny, friendly town. The cabin is affectionately known as The Trabin because it was once an RV trailer that is permanently parked with a sizable and comfortable addition built on: trailer + cabin = Trabin. It’s a little like playing house when you’re up here. everything is a bit funky, misfit, not necessarily efficient, and none of that could be truer than the kitchen. I surprise myself though, by not being thoroughly frustrated by the limited gear, dolllhouse sized stove, cold-water-only sink. Instead of being limitations, they become challenges – we can’t simply eat deli macaroni salad and BBQ’d everything when we’re here, the show must go on, and that show means just-as-good-as-home meals even when the resources are lacking. I’m a sucker for salmon. And kale. And lemon. Hard to imagine how this dish came to be, right? When you’ve been baking in the sun, frolicking in the ocean and letting your summer inner child run free, you need something sustaining that won’t bog you down. Linguine with Salmon and Kale is a perfect compliment to summer evenings – easy, fresh, light.
I’m not going to lie, this was a lot of kale chopping, but totally worth it. There’s something about zipping the leaves off of their crunchy (too crunchy) stalks and rolling them into little bundles to be chopped that is a bit meditative and feels wholly productive. A bit like taking a big bag of corn onto the back porch and shucking the husks and silk. It’s physical and nostalgic, makes you feel connected to the meal and to summer.
I’ll leave you the recipe below so you can try it for yourself; I have a cooler to pack and a date with a pebbly beach. Ciao for now!
12 oz./340 g fresh salmon
14 oz./400 g dried whole wheat linguine
4 Cups (packed) chopped kale, ribs removed
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 small white onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 oz./50 g grated Parmesan cheese
½ C/125 ml white wine
¼ C + 1 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Heat a large pot of salted water for pasta.
While that’s happening …
Prepare the kale by cutting or tearing the leaves from the coarse stalks. Discard the stalks and finely chop the leaves. Set aside. In a large sauce pan, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add the minced onion and garlic, cooking until the onion are fragrant and translucent.
Zest the lemon and add the zest to the pan. Juice the lemon into the wine. Add the chopped kale, stirring to wilt it. Add the wine/lemon juice mixture. Cook until the kale is tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Cook the pasta according to package directions. While it cooks, in a non-stick skillet, cook the salmon (seasoned with salt and pepper) until just cooked through, about 5 minutes with a ¾ inch fillet. Add the cooked pasta to the kale, tossing to combine. Add Parmesan, stirring well to incorporate. Top the pasta with flaked salmon.