Traditional basil pesto embodies summer for me; my parents grow basil – amongst other veggies – in their backyard, and every summer my mom makes many batches of fresh pesto from their crop.
Now that we’re in the middle of winter, basil isn’t the prime choice for making pesto… it’s a good thing you can make the crave-able condiment from other greens.
Such as kale!
Yep, that tough-leaved, cool-weather, nutrient-rich, leafy vegetable can be used to make pesto.
I briefly steamed the leaves to soften them a bit, then pulsed them in a food processor with crunchy toasted walnuts, salty Parmesan cheese, pungent garlic, and a touch of rich olive oil until the mixture came together to form this gorgeous green pesto.
I like my pesto on the thicker side, but if you prefer a more drizzle-able consistency, stream in more oil until the desired consistency is reached.
This texture was perfect for the recipe I used the pesto in – which will be posted tomorrow!
Salty, garlicky, not too oily, and with a bit of chew from the kale, this pesto is a delicious winter version of a summer classic.
Kale Walnut Pesto
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 seconds
Keywords: boil appetizer side vegetarian kale cheese walnuts winter
Ingredients (1/2 cup)
- 3 tightly packed cups washed & dried kale leaves (discard stems)
- 1/4 cup toasted walnut halves
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 2 Tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (or more if you prefer a thinner consistency)
- Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Bring 1/2 inch of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add in the kale leaves, cover, and cook for 30 seconds. Drain and rinse with cold water. Wring dry with your hands.
Place walnut halves into the bowl of a food processor; pulse until finely chopped. Add in the garlic clove, parmesan cheese, and steamed kale; pulse until combined.
With the motor running, stream in the olive oil through the feed tube until the mixture comes together, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Nutritional Information per Serving (2 Tbsp):140 calories, 12.1 grams fat, 1.8 grams saturated fat, 2.4 grams fiber, 3.8 grams protein