Happy Meatless Monday!! This is a recipe that I discovered last year and thought it was just right for Meatless Monday!!!
I love pesto. What’s not to love basil, cheese, olive oil? Seriously- it’s good stuff. There is nothing like fresh basil in the summer. Yum-mo. But its winter. I try to eat seasonally. By that I mean, I look to buy food that are fresh that season. Enter my new best friend kale. Kale can be grown well into winter. This makes it an ideal veggie for so many reasons. Aside from its many nutritional benefits it makes a wonderful pesto! It doesn’t taste like its basil counterpart, but it is as equally delicious.
- 1 bunch of kale
- 5 cloves garlic (you can use less, I love garlic and you never know when a vampire might show up)
- 1/4- 1/2 c parmesan cheese (Vegan? Skip the cheese, please)
- 1/4 c (more or less) olive oil
- 1/4 c warm/hot water
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 c pine nuts (or walnuts, pine nuts can be pricey)
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. Be sure to rinse your kale thoroughly, as dirt and sand loves to hide in those curly crevices. Rinse the leaves first, de-stem and chop, rinse again in a colander.
2. Removing the stem is simple. Grip the outer stem at the bottom with 2 fingers and slide them up, taking the leaf off. This seems to be the fastest way, as long as it is healthy kale with strong stems.
3. Some recipes call to steam the kale first before blending. I don’t and I’ll tell you why. More than likely I will be using this with some kind of heat (pasta, roasting in the oven on potatoes etc) so I don’t think it’s necessary. I also like the taste of raw kale. If you don’t, steam the kale quickly (and I mean quickly for about 15 seconds). But I suggest raw.
4. Put the kale, garlic and cheese in the food processor. Add the lemon juice. Turn on the food processor and slowly drizzle in the oil. If the pesto is too thick, use a bit of the hot water. I use the water instead of adding more oil to cut back on fat.
5. Let the food processor, well process until it’s that lovely pesto, pasty consistency.
Once this was made I stored it in a Tupperware container. To preserve pesto pour a small amount of olive oil on top (optional- I didn’t as I don’t anticipate it will make it very long).
Now what to do with the pesto?! The options are endless. Do not grab a spoon and eat this from the container (though you will be tempted).
This pesto works will with:
- Bread as a first course or snack (a warm baguette)
- On pasta (pictured)
- Roasted veggies
Do you have any favorite pesto recipes? Let me know, I’m always looking to collect some.