I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! After eating way to much and a few days of left over pie for breakfast, I’m ready to get back to some healthy food! At least for a short time before Christmas goodies become too abundant.
I am a huge fan of pesto sauce. All summer long, I am picking my basil plants clean and making a freezing pesto. Its my Dandelion Wine. But in the winter, I don’t always have the quantity of fresh basil on hand for homemade pesto. But I always have kale in my fridge that I am trying to use up. I always buy it for a specific recipe, and am left with a huge amount to use up. Especially when I buy the kind in the giant bag that is already washed and sliced. So I thought I would develop a recipe for pesto sauce using all kale instead of basil. I have seen recipes out there for kale pesto and they are usually half basil and half kale. But to me, the whole purpose of having an alternate pesto recipe is to give me some flexibility for those days when I don’t have basil on hand. Plus, kale is so stinkin healthy.
This recipe has all the traditional pesto items: pine nuts, garlic, parmesan, lemon juice, oil. Since kale is naturally a little bitter, I tweaked the amounts of these ingredients from my basil pesto to mask the bitterness and its pretty delicious. If its still a touch to bitter, a little bit more lemon juice and salt, should do the trick. I am also weird and always cut the amount of oil in pesto way down and use water to thin it out. Its just my little way of cheating and making it a little less calorie dense. I know its not traditional, but its just one of my short cuts for making things healthier.
- 8 C. roughly chopped kale, ribs removed, loosely packed
- 1/3 C. toasted pine nuts
- 1 clove garlic
- 2/3 C. freshly grated parmesan
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 5 tsp. lemon juice
- 2 TBSP. olive oil
- 2/3 C. water
1. Place all the ingredients, except the water in a food processor and process for about 1 minute, until kale and nuts are broken up.
2. Add about half the water and process. Add the rest of the water a little bit at a time, processing between each addition. You might not need all the water and you might need a little more. Just add it until its as thick or thin as you would like.
3. Taste and add more salt or lemon juice if needed. This will depend on how much water you end up using.
Serve over pasta, veggies, on sandwiches, or as a pizza sauce.