green layered lunch

in this recipe we layer sauteed kale over quinoa and cilantro scape pesto. The varied colors of green please the eye and the garlicy, richness of the meal provides us farmers with the zeal to get through the rest of a late spring workday. This lunch can be whipped up in as much time as it takes to make the quinoa, although if you already have the pesto or the quinoa made, it will be an even faster lunch break.

cilantro/scape pesto

2 bunches cilantro

1 bunch garlic scapes (remove the tops)

⅓ cup pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds

extra virgin olive oil

salt to taste

In a food processor blend the garlic scapes with salt, then add pumpkin or sunflower seeds, adding a bit of olive oil to create a nice, but coarse consistency. Then add the two bunches of cilantro, coarsely chopped, and blend until you reach the consistency you like, adding olive oil if so desired. Taste for salt and set aside.


1 cup dry quinoa

2 cups water

Toast the quinoa in the bottom of the dry pot until the grain begins to release a nutty aroma -- a few minutes. Add water, bring to boil, then cover and turn down to low for 15 minutes with lid on. Turn heat off and let sit for about 5 more minutes.

sauteed kale

3 bunches of green onions

1 bunch kale

splash of balsamic vinegar


In a large skillet over medium heat, warm enough olive oil to generously coat the bottom of the skillet. Chop the green onions, reserving the majority of the greens for a garnish at the end. Cook the chopped onions (mostly white parts)  on medium heat, stirring frequently until very soft and starting to brown. Add the chopped kale, add a couple tablespoons of water and a splash of vinegar, stir and let cook for a couple minutes. Add a dash of salt and taste for balance -- add more vinegar, water, or salt if needed.

Now its time to put the layers of green together. Serve the sauteed greens generously in the middle of the plate, layer a serving of quinoa, then sprinkle some parmesan cheese,then top with a dollop of the cilantro pesto and finally the chopped green onion tops.

2 generous servings, total time approx 30 min