Monday, November 7, 2011

Kale Pesto

I'm really excited about my latest discovery.  I have been making pesto with basil, parsley, cilantro, spinach, even broccoli for years, but never thought of this.  Sure, I add Kale to salads, soups, stews and even started making Kale chips this year, which are incredibly good.   While searching for another way to incorporate this nutrient dense vegetable into my daily life, I found a Kale Pesto recipe on  Apparently there were over 3,000 people who took the October Unprocessed Challenge.  Which meant they pledged for 30 days to eat no processed foods, and this recipe was posted on Day 5 of the Challenge to inspire.  It inspired me alright.
Here I have washed, spin dried and torn about 12 Cups of fresh Kale.  Another reason I love this recipe is that all the ingredients, except for the Kale, are roasted first.  Roasting vegetables, nuts, even some fruits, really brings a rich flavor to the dish.
Kale Red Pepper Pesto

Makes 1-1/4 cups

  • 1/2 cup Pecans, roasted
  • 1 medium Red Bell Pepper, roasted
  • 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 to 4 large Garlic Cloves, roasted- I went w/ 6 cloves
  • 4 cups packed green Kale Leaves
  • Sea Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
Wash, dry, and remove any tough stems from the kale.
In a food processor, make the pesto by blending the kale with the roasted pecans, roasted pepper, and roasted garlic. Once it’s smooth, gradually pour in the olive oil and blend until it’s fully incorporated.

 Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.  I love the taste of Cumin, so I added 1/2 Tb.
 I made three batches of pesto, sealed them in 1/2 batch portions and put them in the freezer.  For dinner that night, I tossed a few Tablespoons of pesto with whole wheat spaghetti, added some roasted chicken and a good dose of shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano.  My taste tester loved it:)

Note: I wrap the spin dried kale pieces in a clean dish towel to remove all the moisture.

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