Kale and Walnut Pesto

Kale and Walnut PestoA couple weekends ago Scott and I traveled to Boulder for a beer release.  On our way home we stopped by a Whole Foods there (huge and crazy packed!) to pick up a couple of things.

We also grabbed dinner which was pizza.  My pizza had kale pesto on it that I thought was unique and really tasty.

Because I love the concept of pesto and I love kale, this was a match made in heaven.  So of course I had to make my own version a couple of days later!

Andrea’s Kale and Walnut Pesto

  • Two Bunches of Kale**, stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 1C Walnut Halves (Raw or roasted, your choice)
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic
  • 1C Olive Oil
  • 1 Pinch of Kosher or Sea Salt
  • 2tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 Big Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1C Grated Parmesan Cheese

Place half the kale, walnuts, and oil in a food processor along with all of the seasonings and cheese.  Process until it starts to break down and get creamy.  Add the rest of the kale, walnuts, and oil and continue to process until you have a smooth creamy paste.

Pour out into a glass container with an airtight lid.  Makes about 2-3 cups of pesto and will keep in fridge for at least four days.

Kale PestoThis pesto tastes like summer. It’s grassy, slightly bitter, and feels full of sunshine.

**I didn’t cook the kale and you are free to keep it raw or to blanch it a little first.  If you do blanch it, you’ll have to make sure that you dry the leaves as much as possible.  Otherwise you’ll have a watery and runny pesto.

Since the kale is raw there is a slight grassy bitter taste up front but it soon mellows out with the garlic, walnuts, and cheese.  It’s great as a dip, to use on pasta, or even as a spread on pizza.

I think it would also benefit from a little lemon zest and a little squeeze of lemon juice.  I didn’t have any on hand when I made this but next time I’m going to give it a try.

Pizza sliceI ended up having this pesto three ways, well four, if you count eating that little slice of bread up there with the pesto on it.

Next week, you’ll get to see the other delicious way to have this pesto.


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