When I was working on the Collards & Kale cookbook, I was always looking for creative ways to get some healthy greens on the plate. I recalled a tasty green lasagna in The New Enchanted Broccoli Forest by Mollie Katzen, that calls for basil pesto and spinach. I figured I could double up on the greens by using a similar method, with kale pesto and another green. (included the Amazon link above to the classic vegetarian cookbook from the author of Moosewood).
The first time I made this Kale Pesto Lasagna, I used dandelion greens, and really liked the touch of bitterness these greens provided, made a nice contrast with the cheese. Dandelion greens seem to be more seasonal, so you might need to swap in another green. I have successfully used mizuna greens and Tuscan kale as well. This is a great recipe to try if you get a farmshare and have some greens on hand you’re not sure what to do with! If you try a different green in this Kale Pesto Lasagna, please let me know how it turns out.
he Kale Pesto Lasagna ingredients might be different than your typical lasagna, but the method for assembling it is pretty similar. The ricotta gets combined with kale pesto, your second green, more garlic and some parmesan cheese. The ricotta mixture gets layered in over some lasagna noodles, then topped with some mozzarella. Repeat for another layer, then spread the remaining kale pesto over the top of the lasagna. You’re ready to put the good stuff in the oven!
I tend to gravitate toward whites to go with dishes featuring pesto, but with all the cheese baked into this dish, an Italian red wine is my preferred choice. A Dolcetto from the Piedmont area of Italy can be a very good pairing for the Kale Pesto Lasagna. If you can find one from Anna Maria Abbona, she is definitely my favorite producer of Dolcetto. A Chianti can also work with this dish.
Speaking of wines from the Piedmont, I had a Barolo waiting patiently in the cellar for a couple months after picking it up at the fall grand tasting at Pairings Wine & Food. I decided to give the 2011 Giacomo Fenocchio Barolo ($45, 14.5% ABV) a try with the lasagna. Not a classic pairing for Barolo, but this is an excellent bottle of wine, and it worked reasonably well with the lasagna. That said, my recommendation would be to stick with the Dolcetto for the lasagna, but do treat yourself to a bottle of this Barolo if you come across it! Pair the Barolo with something like this mushroom risotto recipe for best results.
When remaking our kale pesto lasagna on a cold winter day in January 2018, we opened the 2013 Rosso del Ripalte Toscana Alicante ($24, 13%) a lean, medium bodied red wine from Elba. I really like this wine, and it pairs nicely with the kale pesto lasagna.