Kale Pesto

Kale pesto. How virtuous is this? It’s easy and healthy and an excuse to indulge in pine nuts and folks are calling it one of the best pestos they’ve ever experienced.

An illustration of kale pesto ingredients being added to a food processor

This easy kale pesto has all the cheesy, nutty, healthy goodness of traditional basil pesto made with pine nuts. It has all the versatility of the original, too. Toss it with a plate of pasta. Swirl it into soup. Stir it into risotto. Dollop it over scrambled eggs. Spread it on sandwiches. Slather it on pizza crust. Or, you know, otherwise, indulge in any manner you can imagine. It’s endlessly adaptable to your tastes. And it freezes beautifully, too, which is especially helpful since you’ll probably find yourself wanting to use it every day. Originally published January 1, 2017.Angie Zoobkoff

Kale Pesto

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 15 M
  • Makes 8 (2-tbsp) servings | 1 cup
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Ingredients


Directions

Toss the kale, garlic, Parmesan, pine nuts, lemon juice, and salt into a food processor and pulse until combined. With the motor still running, slowly add olive oil through the feed tube, stopping when you reach the desired consistency. (Alternately, you can mash all the ingredients in a mortar and pestle until smooth.)

Use immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to a cover days. If you aren’t using all the kale pesto right right away, you can scrape it into an ice cube tray and freeze until solid. Then pop the kale pesto cubes out of the tray and into a resealable bag for longer storage.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

We love pesto. This kale pesto makes a basic pesto that each person can definitely change the proportions of ingredients to suit your own taste but I did the amounts listed above. Everything was blended in the food processor. Serving suggestions include as a topping for goat cheese on toasts; folded into any warm pasta, added to deviled egg filling; spooned onto any soup, and mixed with mayonnaise for sandwiches.

Pesto is always best when homemade. It’s also conveniently easy to make. Anyone with a food processor or blender should get along with this recipe just fine. I toasted my pine nuts on a low broil for about 10 minutes until browned. This provided an initial nutty flavor that regular pine nuts does not. I used the amounts above save for a giant handful of kale (which ended up being about half of a normal package bought at the grocery store). This pesto breaks open in your mouth with a smooth nuttiness, satisfying oily texture, and burst of acidic lemon. This recipe could easily be doubled. I actually tripled the recipe and used it on vegetable sandwiches, pasta, and atop a pizza crust.

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