Sometimes I like to pretend I am on one of those cooking shows where you have a mystery ingredient and you have to repurpose it or use it in a way that someone would not expect.
Exhibit A: Kale
Oh hey there curly, green, vibrant, nutritious vegetable.
I have met so many people that raise their noses at kale. They say they dislike the texture or the flavor. I don’t think those people have attempted to utilize kale in anything other than a salad. I throw kale into smoothies, stews, lentil dishes, hashes. I roast, cream, and sauté it.
My proudest kale creation is…drum roll please...kale pesto. If you think about it pesto is comprised of a few key ingredients: herbs, nuts, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, and parmesan. Why not switch out the basil for our superfood friend –kale?
Kale is loaded with beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, and calcium. It also contains sulforaphane, a chemical known for it’s anti-cancer properties. Boiling kale loses some of the sulforaphane content, but steaming it does not. I boiled/steamed the kale, because I don’t own a double-boiler (hello Christmas wish list) and I was too lazy to rig one up with a colander or two pots.
I also used walnuts instead of pine nuts in the recipe, because I had the walnuts on hand. They do the trick! This pesto is great tossed on pasta, spaghetti squash, chicken breast, pork chops, paninis, or even as a topping for crackers. Give kale a second chance!
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
10 oz bag pre-cut, pre-washed kale
1/3 C walnuts
1/2 C extra virgin olive oil
1/2 C fresh grated parmesan
2 garlic cloves, peeled
sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of 2 cups water to boil (on high heat).
- While the water is coming to a boil, remove and toss out any large stems from the kale. Add kale to the boiling water and cover pot with lid.
- Reduce heat to medium, stir the kale occasionally, and cook for 3-5 minutes until the kale begins to wilt down, but still has a firm texture.
- Transfer kale to a colander and rinse with cold water. Allow kale to drain. Remove excess water from kale by drying between 2 clean dish rags or pieces of paper towel. You should end up with 3 cups of kale.
- Transfer kale and remaining ingredients to food processor. Pulse until a pesto-like consistency.
- Store refrigerated in an air-tight container or serve with your favorite pasta, protein, or as a sandwich spread :)