Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Kale Pesto

While traditional pesto consists of raw herbs, garlic, cheese and oil, this version uses cooked greens and roasted garlic.  Perhaps I should use quotation marks around pesto or just call it kale sauce.  Either way, it's a nice way to use up extra greens you may have on hand and my husband, who is not a fan of pesto, will actually eat and enjoy this.  This recipe is a slight variation of a Collard Green Pesto recipe that I submitted for my local farmer's market cookbook, which I note not just to brag, but to bring up the point that this will work with any hardy green.    

Kale Pesto

4 cloves garlic
1 bunch of Kale, about 8 ounces, leaves removed from tough ribs and torn into somewhat even sized pieces 
2 ounces grated parmesan cheese 
1/4 cup roasted, shelled pistachios
1 Tablespoon lemon juice 
½-¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Roast the garlic in a small, dry pan fitted with lid over low heat until the cloves are tender, stirring and rotating cloves occasionally to prevent burning, about 10 minutes.  Remove and set aside.  When cool, peel the skin from the cloves.    
2. Bring a large pot of salted water (big pinch of salt) to a boil over medium heat. Blanch kale until bright green, about 1 minute.  Transfer immediately to an ice bath to shock and stop the cooking process.  Remove the kale from the ice water, drain and squeeze out excess water with a dish towel.  Place drained kale in the bowl of a food processor. 
4. Transfer garlic, cheese, pistachios, and lemon juice to the food processor.  Pulse until ingredients are well mixed and uniform in size.  With food processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil just until pesto comes together.  Taste for seasoning, add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over pasta, use as a sandwich spread, pizza sauce, blend into hummus, the possibilities are endless! I generally freeze what I don’t use immediately in an ice cube tray as soon as possible.  Each cube holds about 2 tablespoons, so it’s really easy to pull out just what you need and not worry about waste.  Enjoy!  

Makes about 2 cups

Shared at Eating Inside the Box

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