When people talk about pesto, usually the first thing that comes to mind is 'traditional' classic pesto. You know the one, it's a delicious literal mash-up of basil, salt, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, pine nuts, and grated hard cheese like Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano.
Pestos are all about creating robust, bright, intense flavors.
They can also be seen as a great use of spring greens. Are you staring down a bounty of greens in your garden? Make a pesto! Need a use for some of your uglier produce - Pesto! It's all about the flavor. Who cares what those particular greens looks like. Because it's a mash-up the bruises will be worked right in!
Next, think outside of the box with how you'll use your pesto creation. They make the perfect addition to a wide variety of dishes - especially grilled meats and pasta.
Make a large batch. You can also freeze the excess. Use it in the offseason to bring back the robust fresh flavors of Spring and Summer to a hearty Winter soup. .
Notes About Kale Pesto
This Kale Pesto is very much like a classic basil pesto. It is green and full of garlicky-goodness. The garlic is emphasized by the fact that kale offers a more earthy and robust flavor than basil. If you don't like basil? Try this version of pesto!
Kale + Pine Nuts + Olive Oil + Seasoning
Pestos are full or bright intense flavors and this gorgeous beet pesto is no exception. This recipe was specially requested by a friend and co-worker. She had tasted a beet pesto at a farmers market and asked if I could create one. I think it turned out as pretty as it tastes!
Beets + Nuts (of your choice) + Olive Oil + Seasoning + Parmesan Cheese (optional)
Remember at its core pesto is as much of a formula as it is a recipe: Veggie + Nuts + Oil + Seasoning + Cheese (if you want it)
Think of the endless potential pesto flavor combinations:
- Parsley + Almonds + Almond Oil + Seasoning + Parmesan Cheese
- Collard Greens + Olives + Olive Oil + Seasoning + Dry Jack Cheese
- Parsley & Sage + Walnut + Walnut Oil + Seasoning + Dry Jack Cheese
- Arugula & Spinach + Pumpkin Seeds + Olive Oil + Seasoning + Dry Jack Cheese
- Basil + Pine Nuts + Olive Oil + Garlic + Parmesan Cheese
What greens do you have around? What flavors are you craving? Create your own mash-up (er, pesto)!
- 2 cups lacinato kale stemmed and roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic peeled
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp champagne vinegar
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp water thin to consistency
- 2 acorn squash or other fall squash of your choice
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 450℉.
- Cut each squash in half and remove seeds.
- Slice each half into equally sized wedges.
- Place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, add oil and salt and pepper, roast for 15-20 min. or until lightly browned and tender.
- Set aside to eat with your delicious Kale Pesto!
- Place kale and garlic in a small food processor and chop until kale and garlic are finely minced.
- Add champagne vinegar and pine nuts. Process until pine nuts are finely chopped.
- While running food processor add oil slowly until mixture is smooth.
- Add salt to taste and a tbsp or two of water to thin to desired consistency.