Make Ahead

Kale Pesto

August 30, 2011
1 Rating
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

Test Kitchen Notes

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, I’d toast the nuts to add more nuttiness. - kate —Kate Williams

  • 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
In This Recipe
  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.
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