I love pesto.
Pesto, for me, brings back memories of my junior year in Italy. Of friends and laughs and love and long, lingering dinners where we’d hang our legs over the Arno bridge at sunset and dream of the future.
Pesto is divine.
I don’t often make pesto in the wintertime since basil (the base for traditional italian pesto) isn’t growing like a weed in my garden. So, the other day when a sweet friend told me about making pesto with kale instead of basil, I knew I had to try it… and then: I fell in love.
What you’ll need:
- Food processor with the blade attachment
- microplane (or other fine cheese grater)
- 1 bunch of organic kale (remember: kale is one of the ‘dirty dozen‘, so always buy organic)
- 1 handful organic arugula
- 1/2 cup parmigiano regianno
- 1/4 cup of raw walnuts
- 3 garlic cloves (peeled)
- olive oil
- 1 lemon (for zest and juice)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
Chop off and discard the bottom two inches of your kale bunch, and then rough chop the rest.
Place half of the chopped kale into the food processor and chop until finem then add in the remaining kale and chop until no large pieces of kale remain.
Add in the arugula, walnuts, whole garlic cloves, and parmesan (and yes, it’s okay if there are some larger hunks of the cheese).
Re-cover and chop and chop for approximately 8-10 seconds.
Next, add in the zest of the lemon (approximately 1 tsp), juice from 1/2 of the lemon, salt, and pepper.
Re-cover, and then, with processor ‘on’, slowly drizzle in your olive oil until mixture is smooth and ‘pasty’. And, when you’re all done, it should look like this:
Now, what do you do with it?
I say: what don’t you do with it! Pesto isn’t just for pasta, even though I think that’s how most people think of it. To the contrary, think of pesto like a condiment – something to add a punch of flavor to just about anything. It’s like a cousin to Argentinian chimichurri.
You can toss potatoes in it or vegetables in it (like from last night’s dinner). You can toss quinoa in it (which I LOVE to do) and use it as a bed for a fried egg or you can use it as a dip for raw veggies.
You can slather it on a piece of toasted, rustic bread with a little turkey and brie, you can add it to soup, or meatballs, or use it as a spread for grilled steak or a hamburger.
You can even mix it with a really yummy yogurt to make a perfect yogurt dipping sauce.
The key is this: just make it. Once you taste it, I promise you’ll invent ways to creatively get it into your mouth 🙂
The following recipe was originally published on RebelGrain.com. Visit the website for more great ideas and cooking tips!