Finally! Lard lady posts an actual vegan recipe which is the above pictured Kale Pesto. And surprisingly it’s good. It all started a few years ago with my friend Tina (sister of Nike who was the originator of Takko Chicken), suggested that I try eating kale as it’s so healthy and all… So I tried it. Once. Ugh. Too much like the turnip greens, I was force-fed as a child.
So I forgot about kale until I had a bite of someone’s kale spaghetti at a restaurant. Eureka! It was delicious, probably also because of all the basil, garlic, and parsley that was in it. However, it occurred to me later that the bitterness that I didn’t like when it was served alone made it the perfect foil for bland pasta. After all, I liked it when it was in my Garbure and that’s a dish where it plays a supporting role.
I also discovered in my odyssey through kale literature that the flavor of kale is greatly mellowed when, as they always put it, massaged. It had never occurred to me to massage vegetables but live and learn. And what better way to massage leaves than to stuff them into a food processor and pulse? Your answer – no better way. And it’s high in vitamin A and C.
So the prep – in any order you like – is as follows. Rinse the kale and cut out the ribs, then chop and drop into the Cuisinart, then toss in the basil and parsley. For optimal smoothness you will need to mince the garlic before adding it to the mix, then the lemon juice. Add some of the olive oil and drizzle in the rest gradually through the feed tube until you reach your preferred consistency. It may be more or less than called for in the recipe. Always add the nuts last since if you don’t you’ll end up with nut butter and believe me, you don’t want that.
Here it is all mixed up (like me sometimes). If you have any leftover or are making it ahead of time pour a little olive oil over the top to preserve the green freshness. And note the last time I made this I made way too much and the olive oil trick kept it fresh in the fridge for almost a week.
Oh, and last but not least, check that note on the recipe. A spoonful of Boursin cheese stirred into the pasta while adding the pesto is a wonderful thing.
- 2 cups kale (stems removed)
- 1 cup basil leaves & parsley
- ⅓ cup olive oil (add gradually, you may need less)
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ cup nuts, chopped
- Shredded cheese to taste for topping
- Put all ingredients except nuts in a food processor or blender and process to your preference. Some people will like it chunkier, some smoother but not too smooth.
- Next add the nuts and pulse a few times until they are ground to the fineness you prefer.
- This can be used on any kind of pasta, topping for pizza, or topping for bruschetta.
If you are making ahead of time, put in a glass jar and pour a little oil over it to cover before refrigerating.