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Really Outstanding Kale Pesto

Alternative pestos (alternatives to basil pesto, that is) sometimes feel like last ditch efforts to use up excess, or even unwanted, vegetables. Not this one! This is delicious, and quick and simple to throw together, and it keeps us all (including our 8 year old!) coming back for more. You can even make it ahead: it won’t lose its bright-green color, like traditional pesto made with basil. Pat sent it to us from the GACC kitchen and the True Food Cookbook by Andrew Weil, MD.

4 cups kale (about 1 bunch), stemmed chopped
½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
6 tbsp olive oil
¼ cup pine nuts, walnuts or sunflower seeds
2 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ tsp red-pepper flakes
1 tsp salt

1. Bring large pot of water to boil.
2. Meanwhile, prep the ingredients: rinse and de-stem the kale, but don’t bother chopping. Peel and chop the garlic. Grate the parm.
3. When the water boils, add all of the kale and blanch for between 30 seconds and 1 minute, or until the kale has wilted.
4. Remove kale (tongs are helpful) from water and rinse under cold water to stop it from cooking further.
5. Squeeze kale to press out excess water.
6. Put kale and all other ingredients into a food processor and puree until smooth.
7. Serve immediately, over pasta or on toast, or transfer to a container, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.

Notes: The kale can also be used raw, without blanching.  The flavor will be slightly stronger, but the prep is easier.  As with all pestos, this freezes really well.