I realize I have posted quite a few recipes in my short time blogging featuring kale. I didn’t realize I love it so much, but I guess its so versatile that this veggie is like a gift that just keeps on giving!
A few nights ago I wanted to make a pasta but do something fun with it so I decided to make kale pesto for the sauce. It came out so delicious! Instead of pine nuts I used cashews which totally worked well to make the sauce creamy, and the addition of lemon really adds a nice summery flavor. This is super quick to whip up and I bet it would be great to store. Next time I might make more so I can do that.
We paired our pesto with penne and added some slightly cooked grape tomatoes and a little bit of mozzarella cheese on top. This is on the list of go-to sauces to make again and again!
I start by getting the main ingredients ready which is the kale and a little bit of fresh basil. I have taken so many pictures of kale for this blog!!
I put the juice and zest of one lemon, the cashews, and the garlic in the food processor and grind it up.
Then I add the kale and basil. It looks so healthy before the EVOO!
I add parmesan cheese, spices, and a little bit of water before streaming in the olive oil. I had to adjust quite a bit here, adding quite a bit more black pepper, a little bit of sugar, and some more lemon juice. In the end, it tasted amazing when mixed with pasta and tomatoes.
Prep + Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
Serves: Makes about 3 cups of sauce
- 4 cups kale, de-stemmed and ripped into pieces
- 6 basil leaves
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- Juice of 1 lemon and zest
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (or more fresh lemon if you have it!)
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons water
- Salt to taste (add as much as you want-maybe three or four pinches)
- Pepper to taste (I did about 10 turns of our pepper shaker, but I love black pepper)
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- Crushed red pepper (I added about a teaspoon but you can take this out)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Put the cashews, garlic, juice from the lemon and lemon zest in the food processor and grind.
- Add in the kale in small batches along with the basil and continuously pulse until its finely chopped.
- Add water, parmesan cheese, and all of the spices and blend.
- Stream in olive oil slowly as the mixture is blending. Stop when its a sauce-like consistency.
- Taste and add more seasonings accordingly! I adjusted a lot for the final numbers above.