Thursday, November 10, 2011

Kale Pesto

 I was pleasantly surprised by this. I wasn't sure kale would work out considering it can be bitter and is so different from basil.  This pesto would be SO good spread on garlic bread!

Oh, I used one bunch of kale minus about 3 cups (fresh)or so. 
Makes 1 1/2 cup pesto

small bunch of kale, washed and drained, thick stems trimmed out (I left some smaller ones) and chopped into large chunks, just so they fit into the pan better.
1/3 cup toasted walnuts
1 cup parmesan, fresh grated, divided
2 Tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon
1 Tablespoon honey
1 garlic clove, grated
healthy pinch of kosher salt
wee pinch of red pepper flakes, crushed between your fingers as you sprinkle it into the kale
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 cups rotini pasta
medium saucepan filled 3/4 way up with water and salted well.
1 Tablespoon butter

 Bring salted water to a nice boil.  Squish in all your kale. Wait until the water comes back up to a boil and cook about 2-3 minutes. I don't care to boil mine down until they're super wilted.  Just until they're softened up and bright green.  So pretty!
Turn off the heat and let the kale sit in the hot water while you get a large bowl of super cold tap water.
Using a slotted spoon or spider spatula, put all the kale into the cold water to cool off and stop the cooking.
Save the water in the saucepan from cooking the kale.
Drain the kale.
Bring the water up to a boil and add 2 cups rotini pasta.  The water should still be plenty salty, so you shouldn't need to add any more salt.
While pasta cooks, make the pesto.

Dump drained kale into food processor, add all the ingredients except the evoo and 1/2 the parmesan cheese. Pulse while slowly adding in the olive oil.  Should only take a few pulses to get the consistency you like. I like mine pretty well whizzed up. :)

Drain pasta, add pasta back to pan and stir in 1/2 cup of the pesto, butter and the rest of the parmesan.
You can freeze the leftover pesto or keep it in your fridge for garlic bread, quick lunches or dinners, as a veggie dip for snacking..and it should last quite awhile.

Very healthy and surprisingly very filling!

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