I may be way behind the curve on this, but I had the epiphany recently that I can make pesto out of any green. Yes, I've made oodles of basil and cilantro pesto, but arugula, kale, spinach, leeks...oh my, I'm so excited!
So, here's my kale pesto recipe
One bunch fresh kale (local and organic if you can)
1/2 C. nuts - (note: I'm not a big fan of pine nuts, so I use a mix of roasted salted almonds and cashews. You should feel free to use pine nuts **shudder** or walnuts or hazelnuts or whatever nuts you've got in the cupboard.)
1/4-1/2 C. Extra virgin olive oil
4-6 cloves fresh garlic
Juice of 1/2 lemon (optional)
1/2 C. ground Parmesan cheese (you can leave the cheese out if you're making vegan pesto or if you're freezing for future use. Add cheese after thawing.)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A food processor with chopping blade attachment
1. Start with a pile of fresh, washed kale that has been stripped from the stems. Save the stems for soup or stir fry.
2. Peel and trim 4-6 cloves of garlic.
3. Chop: 3/4 C. of nuts in a food processor until it resembles, um... this:
4. Add 1/4 C. of extra-virgin olive oil, garlic and cheese and lemon juice (if using) and process again until it all reaches a similar consistency - but not long enough to make a funky nut butter consistency.
5. Blanch: Toss kale into 2 quarts of salted water that has reached a rolling boil. Continue cooking until water returns to boiling and kale has softened a bit.
6. Refresh: Move the kale from the pot to a colander and rinse with cold water until greens are cool to the touch. Using your hands, squeeze the water from the kale and place into the food processor.
7. Process once more until it looks like pesto, adding more olive oil for consistency, and salt and pepper to taste.
8. Serve as a pasta accessory (natch) or as a sandwich condiment, zingy dip for vegetables, or any way you add an earthy, garlicy, nutty flavor to something. Enjoy!