My Fettuccini with Collard Greens Pesto and Grilled Shrimp is quick, colorful, nutritious, and delicious- it’s the perfect summer dish!
Thank you to Nature’s Greens® for sponsoring this post! As always, all opinions expressed are 100% my own.
Now that we’re in the middle of summer, one of my favorite things to do is spend time with my family, kick back, and relax outdoors, preferably with a cold beverage in hand. When it comes to meals, I usually stick to grilling and recipes that are quick and easy. I mean, who wants to spend all day in a hot kitchen?
Pesto is one of my favorite things to make in the summertime. Pesto (pesto alla Genovese) is a classic Italian sauce made by pureeing fresh basil with garlic, pine nuts, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and olive oil. Pesto isn’t usually cooked but rather, it’s just tossed with pasta. I love making a whole batch of pesto when I have fresh herbs and then using it in a variety of dishes like sandwiches, soups, salads and pasta. It also freezes well so you can enjoy it for months.
Another great thing about pesto is that you can make endless variations by mixing up the ingredients. I make a lot of different types of pesto with sundried tomatoes, olives, and various nuts and seeds like almonds and pumpkin seeds. So when I got a delivery of these lovely Nature’s Greens® collard greens, I decided that I was going to make a new version of pesto!
Nature’s Greens® are convenient and easy-to-prepare greens that are pre-washed and ready to cook and serve. Rich in vitamins and minerals, they provide great meal solutions. A serving of collards provides an impressive array of nutrients including fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate and calcium! These wholesome greens don’t contain any preservatives and are a great way to add a boost of flavor and nutrients to dishes like pastas, smoothies, salads and more.
To make the collard greens pesto, I first blanched the collards quickly in boiling water to soften them and then shocked them in ice water to lock in their green color. Then I threw them into a food processor with some pecans, garlic, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice and olive oil. I added a little water to get it all going and then in a few seconds, it was done! Pretty easy, right? Just look at that beautiful color!
I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by how delicious the collard greens pesto came out! When I think of collards, I usually think of traditional dishes that stew them for hours with strong-flavored ingredients like ham. But the Nature’s Greens® collards have a mild, savory flavor that worked perfectly in this pesto! Since I used a whole pound of greens, this recipe made a lot of pesto, about 3 ½ cups. But as I mentioned before, pesto freezes really well so I am freezing the leftovers. That way, I can pull it of the freezer when I need a quick dinner. It’s delicious tossed with pasta but I can also see myself using it in potato salad, on flatbreads and even as a delicious topping for fish or chicken.
I tossed some of my collard greens pesto with fettuccini and added a little bit of the reserved pasta water to form a nice sauce to coat the strands of pasta. To top my pasta dish, I decided to grill some shrimp and beautiful vine-ripened tomatoes that I had picked up at the market. I marinated the shrimp with a few simple ingredients and then tossed them on the grill for a couple of minutes on each side.
Quick, colorful, easy, and delicious. Plus, it’s good for you too! This dish just screams summer, doesn’t it?
This dish is quick, colorful, nutritious, and delicious- it's perfect for summer!
- 1 pound large shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup Collard Greens Pesto (see recipe below)
- 1 bunch tomatoes on the vine
- 8 ounces fettuccini or other long pasta cooked and drained (reserve some of the pasta water)
Marinate the shrimp in a bowl with the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, paprika, salt, and pepper.
Heat a grill or grill pan over medium high heat and spray with cooking spray. Grill the shrimp 2-3 minutes on each side until opaque. Remove from heat. Add the tomatoes to the grill and cook a few minutes, turning occasionally, until lightly charred and softened.
Toss the cooked fettuccini with about 1 cup of the collard greens pesto. Stir in some of the reserved pasta water until the sauce coats the pasta. Reserve the remaining pesto for another use. Arrange the grilled shrimp and tomatoes on top of the pasta and serve.
(Makes 3 1/2 cups of pesto)
You can use this versatile pesto in a variety of dishes like pasta, sandwiches, soup and flatbread.
- 1 pound Nature’s Greens Collard Greens
- ½ cup roughly chopped pecans 2 ounces
- 3 cloves garlic
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup water
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the collards and cook 3-4 minutes until soft. Drain and immediately immerse in a bowl of ice water. Drain the greens after a few minutes.
Pulse the pecans and garlic in a food processor until finely ground. Add the drained collards, cheese, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, and water and process until smooth. The pesto will be thick.
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