I’m not going to lie. When I read a recipe for kale pesto a few weeks ago, I was more than a little suspicious about kale messing with an otherwise perfect combination of zesty basil, parmesan, pine nuts, and olive oil. However, it’s definitely not basil season in Denver. Our forecast for Tuesday is looking more than a little snowy. Snow = ridiculously priced basil in my neck of the woods, so I made the pesto adulteration plunge this weekend and snapped up a few bunches of reasonably priced lacinato kale.
And I’m very glad I did. Besides being packed with enough vitamins and nutrients to send me sailing along the city running trails like a jackrabbit hopped up on desert sage, this particular pesto recipe tastes almost exactly like the basil pesto I made last September. Maybe I’m less enamored with basil than with its back-up singer ingredients after all.
Below you’ll find a recipe from the True Food cookbook I’ve been raving about for the past few weeks. The ingredients yield a sizable batch of the green ambrosia, which means you can freeze what you don’t use immediately and enjoy it later when you need a quick meal.
I slather pesto on toasted bread and use it as a condiment on salads and sandwiches, not to mention as an simple way to improve even the most humble pasta. What’s your favorite way to use pesto in your cooking?
Emerald Ambrosia, or Kale Pesto That Will Rock Your World (a True Food recipe)
Yields 2 cups
– 8 cups stemmed, chopped kale (about 2 bunches)
– 1/2 cup grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese
– 1/4 cup pine nuts
– 4 cloves garlic
– 3/4 cup olive oil
– 1 tsp red pepper flakes
– 1 tsp kosher salt
– 1 tsp black pepper
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice cubes and water.
2. Plunge the kale into the boiling water for 3 minutes, then remove the kale to the ice water. (Icy water will preserve the bright green color and instantly stops the cooking process.)
3. After cooling for 3 minutes, strain the kale in a colander and press to get rid of the excess water.
4. Put the kale and the remaining ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
This pesto will keep in the refrigerator for a few days. Unless you’re planning a pesto party, I recommend freezing the leftovers in an air-tight container. It can keep up to a month in the freezer.