kale pesto x Gruyère tuna melt

By Shira Lenchewski, MS, RD
January 19, 2014
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Author Notes: A cleaner + greener take on this greasy spoon diner classic. My cure for the winter blues. xx SL

Pesto recipe inspired by Love & Lemons by Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews, and Bon Appetit's Kale and Walnut Pesto.
Shira Lenchewski, MS, RD

Makes: 1


  • 4-6 luciano kale leaves, center ribs and stems removed
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
  • juice and zest of 1½ lemons
  • ¼ cup pistachio nuts, shelled (or walnuts)
  • ½ cup macadamia nut oil (or EVOO)
  • sea salt to taste
  1. Blanch kale in a large pot of boiling salted water, about 1 minute. Drain and place in ice bath; squeeze out excess water, and dry with a clean kitchen towel.
  2. Transfer kale to a food processor, add garlic, basil, pistachio nuts, oil, lemon juice and zest; pulse until coarsely chopped. Season with salt. Makes about 1 cup pesto.


  • 2 oz oil-packed tuna
  • 1 Tbsp pesto
  • 2 slices whole grain bread (I'm partial to Udi's gf)
  • 2 luciano kale leaves, center ribs and stems removed
  • 1 oz Gruyère cheese, finely grated
  • 5 cocktail tomatoes, sliced
  1. Preheat oven to 450º. Drain tuna, and place in small mixing bowl; combine with pesto.
  2. Lightly toast bread. Transfer to lined baking sheet.
  3. Cover each slice of toast with kale, and spread tuna mixture evenly on top; top with cheese.
  4. Bake in oven until cheese bubbles, about 3 minutes. Serve open-faced with tomatoes.
  5. Preserve extra pesto by pouring mixture into an ice cube tray, and placing in freezer for 2 hours. Remove pesto cubes and store in freezer bag for up to 3 months.

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