I was looking for something green to use in a savory Halloween themed recipe (I’m excited to share that with you very soon!) and thought pesto would be perfect in it! I wanted to do something a little different than the usual basil pesto and came across ones that used other greens and nuts including a kale and walnut pesto. I happened to have half a bag of walnuts in the cupboard and needed some kale anyway so decided to try it out! I looked at many recipes before settling on what ingredients to use and adjusted the amount to my taste. At first I was a little skeptical of the kale but it has a mild flavor that balances out perfectly with the lemon, garlic, nuts, and seasonings.
The ingredients are simple: kale, walnuts, garlic, olive oil, and fresh lemon juice. Most pesto recipes also call for Parmesan cheese. I usually just omit it but this time I used vegan Parmesan cheese and really liked the flavor it added to it. (If you are not a fan, go ahead and leave it out.) The only difference between this and the basic basil pesto is that you need to blanch the kale first before blending it up which is a really quick step.
This was a fun and new way for me to eat kale and if you haven’t tried it before, I highly recommend it! You can use this pesto as a dip for chips or crackers, spread on pieces of toast and sandwiches, or add to pastas. Although I am using it as part of a Halloween inspired dish, the kale pesto and its bright green color is great on its own as part of a spooky spread too!
Tools Needed: food processor (I use a Ninja), a small 2 or 3 quart saucepan