Since I have discovered Kale I have been experimenting a lot with it, and the funny thing is the more things, I cook with it, the more I like it. It is such a cheap and easy vegetable to buy that I don’t mind buying a lot a big bunch of it when I do my weekly grocery shopping.
It is easy to handle and cook with, and I just love the bright Green color that Kale has. And you know what the best thing about Kale is; it even freezes well. In fact, Kale tastes sweeter after it is has been frozen (True story as told by friend ‘Wikipedia’). It is also rich in Calcium, Vitamin K and C. It has a distinctive taste but it can be altered depending on how you cook it.
Two things I love to do with it is use it as a substitute to Spinach in a lot of dishes and make an incredible nutty Pesto with it. I make my own sauces for Pasta, so I know exactly what is added to it, and I can tweak the recipe as per my taste. And let’s face it making Pasta sauce at home is not rocket science.
For the Pesto, I use Walnuts that I find are stronger in flavour compared to Almonds and then season the Pesto generously with freshly ground Pepper, Salt and a squeeze of fresh Lemon juice. Traditional Pesto is made with Rocket and Pine nuts but since I am pushing the envelope, I have changed all the main ingredient’s.
When making Pesto one thing to keep in mind is to use Fresh ingredients, so the taste does not alter. You can store the pesto for 2 – 3 days in the fridge or a jar with a small layer of Oliver oil on it so the Pesto doesn’t change color.Besides using it in Pasta, I also use it as a topping for Roast vegetables, fish and even Chicken. So now you see why this Kale Pesto is my favorite?
Here is the recipe (Cooking time 10 minutes)
1 large bunch of Kale chopped (remove the thick stalks as that could make it harder to blend in the processor)
2-3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (I did not use it while making the pesto and just added on the pasta)
1/3 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to thin pesto
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Boil water in a large bowl place the chopped Kale and Blanche for the Kale for 5 minutes. Drain the water and run the Kale under Cold water so the Kale can retain its color. Squeeze all the water out of the Kale.
Combine all the ingredients except the Olive oil, Salt and Pepper and blend in a food processor until finely ground.
Add olive oil along and the Walnuts and process until the pesto is creamy and granular. If necessary, add more olive oil until it reaches the desired consistency. I like my pesto nice and thick, I add Olive Oil or water in which the pasta was cooked to water it down a little.
The pasta is chunky and delicious.