Born and raised as a dedicated Beatles fan, it took me a couple decades to truly appreciate the rock n’ roll genius of The Rolling Stones.
I was about 19 when “Starboy”, one of the house DJs at Toronto’s most notoriously naughty rock n’ roll bar The Bovine Sex Club, was going on tour and tapped me to fill in for him on Tuesday nights. This was a big deal. The Bovine was home to every local musician I admired at the time and the pit stop for every rockstar travelling through. If I were to build my name spinning records and hosting shows, this was the crowd to impress. I was going to need a wider catalogue of classic, raw rock n’ roll. I was going to need more Stones.
Recognized worldwide, praised by multiple generations, if you crank up Sympathy for the Devil, Emotional Rescue, or Satisfaction toes will tap and heads will bop. Embracing everything from R ‘n’ B to pop to rock to reggae to funk to punk, if there was one band to convince you that rock n’ roll is a powerful, all-encompassing, vital force, it would be the Stones. The fact that this band of music-makers is still available to perform and release new music is certainly something to celebrate.
With all of the excitement for The Rolling Stone’s 50th anniversary gig in London, England last Sunday night, I wanted to prepare a recipe with the rock n’ roll pioneers in mind. I know what you’re thinking, “Kale pesto?! A truly rock n’ roll feast requires an 8-ball with a prostitute chaser – not antioxidants and healthy carbohydrates.” Well, stay with me here: as tempted as I was to whip something up with loads of Brown Sugar, researching band members and their personal eating habits, I found myself totally inspired by their commitment to keep on keeping on.
Mick Jagger especially is dedicated to physical health and wellness to ensure he can continue to rock out through his 70s. According to an article published by The Daily Mirror in 2011, “Sir Mick runs eight miles a day, swims, kick boxes and cycles, as well as maintaining a strict strength and conditioning program in the gym. For balance, he takes ballet lessons and studies yoga and pilates.”
An organic devotee, the bulk of his diet includes, “wholegrain bread, potatoes, rice, beans, pasta, chicken and fish — all of which are carbohydrate-heavy and said to be the best source of energy for working muscles. When on the road he eats one pasta meal a day, four hours before a show.” The lesson here, kids, is that sex, drugs and rock and roll can be fun while you’re young but if longevity is your goal, start looking to those Olympic athletes for your inspiration.
With great rock n’ roll and good health in mind, I present to you a delicious kale pesto fit for a rockstar, tossed with a bow-tie pasta, chopped sun-dried tomatoes and thinly sliced parmigiana cheese.
Rockstar Kale Pesto
Adapted from Love & Lemons
Prepares: enough for 4 servings
Prep time: about 20 minutes Cook time: about 15 minutes
- 1 bunch kale, coursely chopped, thick stems removed
- 1/4 c pine nuts, lightly toasted
- 1/4 c good-quality olive oil
- Juice and zest of half a medium sized lemon
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- Pepper, to taste
- 3 cups farfalle (bow tie) pasta (or any other pasta of your choice)
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- Preheat oven to 350°f.
- Boil a large pot of water and set a bowl of ice water to the side. blanch kale (drop kale into boiling water, and immediately take out and dunk into ice water). Drain and lay on towels until mostly dry.
- Toast pine nuts in preheated oven for about 10 minutes and set aside.
- Cook pasta according to package directions and reserving some of the pasta water (I like to scoop a mug full from pot before draining).
- Place in food processer: kale, garlic, pine nuts (reserving a handful for garnish later), olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt. (Add some water or more oil if you need more liquid to get your food processer moving). Taste and adjust seasonings. A pinch of sugar mellows the bitterness of the kale and the tartness of the lemon.
- Toss pasta and a few spoonfuls pesto in a bowl. This recipe makes extra pesto, so use as much or little as you wish on your pasta.
- Garnish with chopped sun dried tomatoes, sliced or grated parmigiana, remaining pine nuts and a pinch of red pepper flakes.
And now to cleanse your palette with a healthy dose of rock n’ roll.
The Rolling Stones formed in 1962, in 1964 The Beatles landed on American soil launching “the British invasion”. Sometimes timing really is everything. The Beatles became the image of clean cut British pop, where The Rolling Stone’s management created a contrast bad boy image with the “Would you want your daughter to marry a Rolling Stone” campaign. With this, the divide of music fans began.
Just four years later, the 60’s were taking their toll, drug addictions were ripe and oh so evident.
The newest single from the greatest living rock band, Doom and Gloom. I love the gritty, raw sound of the song. You’ll have to make the trip over to YouTube to check out the uncensored version of the video, definitely worth the watch. I’m still digesting the video contrast of youthful visual vibrancy with 70 year old men swinging their hips but the casting of Noomi Rapace is outstanding.Add to favorites