Monday, September 30, 2013

kale pesto

I just wanted to share this quick pesto recipe as a segue to a baked pasta I had made earlier this past summer.  As October brings us cooler weather and the sun rests to slumber earlier and earlier each day, kitchens are sputtering with rich soups and luscious stews; braised meats; pumpkin treats and rich and hearty baked pastas.  The aforementioned baked pasta will be featured in a few days, but for today I will be featuring a key ingredient to the dish, kale pesto.

Pesto is rather simple to make.  It is a raw sauce traditionally containing basil, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, Parmesan and/or Pecorino cheese.  The marriage of these ingredients are whirled up in a blender within seconds to create a bold, brightly colored and versatile sauce.  Pesto can be spread on bread, mixed with vegetables and salads, swirled in soup, combined to make a party dip, or tossed with pasta.  It is a great staple to have in your kitchen and you can freeze pesto for later use.

This recipe is an especially tasty way to enjoy kale.  Kale Pesto has a garden fresh, garlicky and cheesy flavor that is quite reminiscent to the traditional basil pesto, it is just the high fiber cousin to our beloved herbed favorite.  This recipe makes a small batch of pesto but can easily be doubled.

Kale Pesto
yield:   4-6 ounces
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts & walnuts (I used 75% pine nuts to 25% walnuts) or just pick your favorite nut out of the two and not combine them.
  • 1 cup packed fresh kale
  • 2 small garlic cloves
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  1. Place pine nuts and walnuts in a dry skillet and toast over medium low heat until fragrant.  Remove and set aside.
  2. Add kale, garlic, salt and toasted nuts into a bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade.  Blitz it until kale is coarsely chopped.  Add cheese and pulse until incorporated.
  3. Slowly pour olive oil into the food processor and whirl the ingredients together until the desired consistency is met.
  4. Adjust the seasonings and store in the refrigerator sealed in an airtight container for a week. You may also freeze it up to 6 months.  To maintain a fresh green looking color, drizzle a thin layer of olive oil on top before storing.

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