Kale Pesto

We love kale and we eat a lot of it.  Our typical methods of preparing kale are either tossing it into a salad or sauteeing it with some garlic. I wanted to come up with a new creative way to eat this nutrient dense leafy green.

I just started a kitchen herb garden. As I was planting the basil, I thought, “Pesto”.

Kale Pesto.

What’s not to love? Pesto is a flavor packed condiment used for so many foods–pasta, meat, fish, veggies or sandwiches.

Pesto traditionally calls for pine nuts.  Walnuts were used as a substitute for pine nuts because I like the taste of walnuts paired with kale and walnuts are less expensive (bonus!).   To toast the walnuts:  Heat a dry pan over medium-high setting.   Add walnuts and constantly stir for about 5 minutes.  Walnuts are done when they become fragrant and toasted.

You will need…

1 cup kale (remove stems and tightly packed)

1 cup basil (tightly packed)

1/4 cup toasted walnuts

2 cloves of garlic

2/3  cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Salt & pepper

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Add kale, basil, walnuts, and garlic to a food processor.  Pulse the ingredients a few times before setting blender to mix.  Slowly add the olive oil while ingredients are mixing. Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in grated Parmesan. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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There are many ways to utilize pesto.  Below is one of my favorite ways to use it.

Kale Pesto & Canellini Bean Pizza

You will  need:

Pizza dough (store-bought or home made)

Kale Pesto

2 cups of shredded Mozzarella cheese or a shredded Italian cheese mix

1/2 cup Cannellini beans

Follow instructions for cooking pizza dough.  Spread a thin layer of kale pesto on the pizza dough and top with cannellini beans and cheese. Bake as instructed.

Note: Having mints on hand is advised when consuming garlicky foods.

 

Inspiration:

Our love of kale and garlic.

 

 

Spicy BBQ Kale Chips

 

kale bowl

Last weekend, I headed to the rural part of North Jersey to spend some quality time with my parents while the hubby did some work in NYC.  My parents were thrilled to see us especially since it meant seeing their granddaughter, T.

The weekend was relaxing but short.  Most of the socializing was done at the table  –my favorite place to socialize.  Saturday I had lunch with my mom and her girlfriends, affectionately known as “The Bullies” at the local cafe.  That evening, we went to a friend’s home for dinner and drinks.  I tried uni, squid ink pasta and halva for the first time.  All interesting and delicious.

There was some snacking in between all of the feasting.  I raided my parents kitchen looking for nosh.  I found the perfect snack–Brad’s Raw Leafy Kale (Nacho flavored).  They were crispy and packed with flavor.

I have made kale chips before–an easy and simple recipe. I usually only lightly season it with salt and pepper.  I thought I ought to be more adventurous.  Inspired by Brad’s nacho flavored kale chips, I decided to seek my own flavor packed kale snack.

Spicy BBQ kale chips was the obvious answer. Continue reading