Kale Pesto

By • August 30, 2011 • 13 Comments

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Author Notes: Someone brought me a huge bag of kale last year and I made my first kale pesto out of some of it, froze a good amount for the winter, finished it all off so this is the perfect time for another batch or two.

As with any pesto you can change the amounts of garlic and oil. I used some lemon juice and a little Meyer lemon olive oil for a fresh batch today. - ibbeachnana
ibbeachnana

Food52 Review: Believe it or not, I've only ever had kale pesto made with raw greens. The blanching step in ibbeachnana's recipe definitely makes for a more subtle end result. Her pesto tastes more like miscellaneous greens than earthy, slightly bitter kale. So this is a great sauce for the kale-shy. To intensify the flavor, I would cook the kale less or maybe not at all. And, next time, Iā€™d toast the nuts to add more nuttiness. - katekate

Makes about 1- 1 1/2 cups

  • 1 big bunch of kale, rinsed, ribs removed and torn into large pieces
  • 3/4 cup EVOO, 2 tablespoons of which was Meyer lemon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Parmigiano, microplaned
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed and rough chopped
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, fresh
  1. Blanch the kale in boiling salted water for about 3 minutes and chill down in a cold water bath, drain and squeeze excess water. Place into small work bowl of food processor and pulse to start breaking up the kale, add rough chopped garlic, process, add pine nuts, pulse several times. Slowly add the olive oils and lemon juice, process until everything is broken down. It will never be real smooth. Finally add the cheese and pulse a few times. Season with salt and pepper. If serving with pasta grate a little extra cheese over and add EVOO to the hot pasta, toss with pesto, serve with additional grated cheese.
  2. These are the basics of my recipe and the way that I prefer it, but you can add more garlic, lemon, or oil if you like.
Jump to Comments (13)

Tags: pesto

Comments (13) Questions (0)

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12 months ago marija

made this today and its divine! I mixed pine nuts and sunflower seeds (just because) and before I even poured it in the jar had a huge spoonful with a slice of crusty bread, num num huge thumbs up! thank you

Open-uri20130723-4684-1ka4o81

over 1 year ago Davis Bliss

Made this tonight & added oven roasted cherry tomatoes, pecorino romano instead of parmigiano. Fantastic!

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about 2 years ago walkie74

Oh. Oh wow. Yeah. Freshly grated parm really makes this pesto divine. My husband even ate some, and he's not a big fan of winter greens! I am *so* saving this!

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about 2 years ago walkie74

I tried this with swiss chard instead of kale. Instead of adding pine nuts, garlic and olive oil separately, I ended up adding the foriana sauce from this recipe:

http://www.food52.com/blog...

...which I'd made earlier that evening :) I may go back and add some more cheese after it cools, but aside from that, it looks promising.

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about 2 years ago taxidog

Wow, this was amazing! I like pesto in theory, but only like basil in small amounts. I've been looking for ways to use so-good-for-you kale and this is just the ticket. I had some leeks, so I blanched them too and threw them in. Do you think it would freeze well? Cheers!

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about 2 years ago Harvest Queen

"A big bunch of kale" is a confusing amount to me. It would be ever so much more helpful to quantify that. So many variables could lead to an over- or under- abundance of kale; for instance your source or the type of kale used. As an aside, I have made arugula pesto with great success. Thanks!

Dsc_8677

about 2 years ago ibbeachnana

I'd have to run to the store to see what a bunch might weigh and it is pouring down rain so the best that I can do is say 1 pound or about 6-8 cups. I made it again a few weeks back and added a little more garlic, a touch of lemon zest and toasted pine nuts. Certainly taste and add more of what you think it needs as blanching does result in a milder flavor.

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almost 3 years ago jblock

Really, really, REALLY good.

Dsc_8677

almost 3 years ago ibbeachnana

Too funny, just copied my recipe contributions and made note to make some for company this week.

Thanks and I did end up toasting the pine nuts

Dsc_8677

almost 3 years ago ibbeachnana

I also toast the pine nuts, but still blanch the kale as most of it this time of year is so bitter and I prefer the mild flavor. I'm looking to add the remaining pesto to a soup this week.

Dsc_8677

about 3 years ago ibbeachnana

The best reason for blanching and cooling for me is to maintain the bright green color for the pesto, but way too often around here the kale and other greens for that matter are just too bitter and blanching helps, actually just enough time for the whole batch under boiling water is enough time. I am so sorry not to mention toasting the pine nuts.

Winnie100

about 3 years ago WinnieAb

I've never made kale pesto before and absolutely loved it! Great recipe :)

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about 3 years ago magproctor

I made this tonight to put on a pizza -- delicious!