Friday, March 14, 2014

Kale Pesto

I forget sometimes how much I love pesto. It's the love connection between pizza, pasta, bread, cheese, and pretty much anything that is edible. It's perfection in every way. Normally, pesto is made with a basil base, but this time I make it with kale (because I love it, and I had a bunch on hand). HDFB Tip: I wilted the kale a bit to soften it so it would blend easier with the rest of the pesto party. So far I have had this on spaghetti squash, pita chips, chicken, asparagus, and a very spring-themed quesadilla. Watch for recipes to come! But until then, I leave you with this!

Kale Pesto

  • 3 cups kale, stems removed and discarded
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup good quality olive oil
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
  • freshly ground salt & pepper
In a large skillet heat up water to a simmer. Add in the kale leaves and wilt the kale for 1-2 minutes, tossing occasionally.

Remove from heat, drain water and place kale leaves into a bowl of ice water to stop it form keeping cooking. Set aside.

In a small saute pan, add the olive oil and garlic and cook over medium heat. Do not let it come to a boil. Just warm enough to infuse the oil with the garlic. After about 8 minutes, remove from the heat, use a slotted spoon to remove the garlic cloves and set aside. Pour the olive oil into a separate bowl and let it cool at room temperature. 

In a food processor, add in the chilled kale leaves. Pulse 8 times until finely chopped. Add in the pine nuts, parmesan and lemon zest. Pulse 4 more times.

Add in the lemon juice and garlic cloves. Pulse 4 more times. Now turn the food processor on and in a steady slow stream add in the olive oil and let it process until smooth.

Add in a pinch of salt and pepper. Pulse to mix. Keep in fridge for up to one week in an airtight container.

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