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.

 

 

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Spring Quinoa & Barley Salad

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Spring Quinoa & Barley Salad

I have a very long and extensive list of must-go-to restaurants.  I was able to check-off one of those restaurants,  Terrain Garden Café in Glen Mills, PA.  The meals at Terrain are carefully crafted with local and organic meat and produce.  My husband and I just celebrated our one year anniversary and I asked that we spend the afternoon together and have brunch at Terrain.

It was a great idea because we had a brunch reception for our wedding.  Like most restaurants, Terrain only serves brunch on the weekends.  Our anniversary fell on a Monday. Boo.

That’s okay!  I made lunch reservations.  We dropped off Baby T with Auntie S, picked up some beer and vino and headed to our destination.  I was so ready and so excited to pour over the menu and feast on the bounty of the land.

Fresh, warm bread in a flower pot.  Yes, please.

Fresh, warm bread in a flower pot. Yes, please.

I was close to stuffed after devouring the adorable and scrumptious bread pot (yummy, warm bread baked in a flower pot) and the cheese board was of generous portions and nothing short of delicious.

This recipe was inspired by the main dish that I ordered, the dayboat scallop salad.  I rarely pass up the chance to order scallops a.k.a. candy of the sea.  The scallops were served over a barley and quinoa salad with “farmer’s market vegetables, pickled red onion, local micro greens, apple-honey vinaigrette”

We are huge quinoa fans in this family and I loved this quinoa and barley salad which included asparagus and sugar snap peas and lightly dressed with vinaigrette.  This was my best attempt to recreate this dish.  I swapped out the sugar snap peas for frozen peas (because that’s what I had on hand).  I purchased “10 minute barley” at Trader Joe’s which significantly cut back the prep time.  I created my own apple vinaigrette. This recipe is about assembling ingredients that you can easily be made ahead if needed.  This is a great side dish for a BBQ or picnic. Continue reading