If you eat lots of fresh vegetables, then your fridge often gets full and finding space can be a challenge. Kale is a great vegetable, and we love to eat it lots of different ways. But it is fluffy and can be a fridge space hog, and sometimes, we just need to make room for the celery and kohlrabi. This pesto recipe is delicious, and it reduces kale’s refrigerator real estate demands. It is versatile like basil pesto, but more mild in flavor. Use it with pasta, salads, vinaigrettes, or with roasted or grilled meats.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking/Blending Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 2 cups
- 6 cups lightly packed green kale leaves, ribs removed, and triple washed
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup toasted, unsalted walnuts
- 1 garlic clove crushed and chopped
- 1 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice (plus a tsp or two more if you want to add a little more after tasting)
- 2 quarts of water (to blanch the kale)
- Kosher salt to taste (plus 2 tsp for blanching the kale)
- Black pepper to taste
- Cut the leaves off the thick ribs, discard any discolored or wilting leaves, wash and drain three times (they can be sandy); set aside.
- Rough chop the cranberries and walnuts; set aside.
- Peel the garlic, crush or chop; set aside.
- Juice 1/2 lemon (optional)
- Add the water and 1 tbsp of salt to a large soup pot, bring to boil, add the kale, carefully press down the kale into the boiling water to get all the leaves submerged, stir, blanch (briefly cook in boiling water) for 1 minute.
- Carefully remove the blanched kale and place in an ice water bath until cooled, drain, ball up the blanched leaves and lightly press between your hands to drain any excess water.
- Place on cutting board and chop, add the blanched and chopped leaves into a high-speed blender.
- Add the chopped cranberries and walnuts, olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice.
- Process until you have a smooth and creamy consistency.
- Pour into a medium sized mixing bowl and taste for seasoning:
- Season with kosher salt and black pepper.
- Add more lemon juice if desired.
- Stir to mix well.
- Pour into 2 1 cup plastic containers, cover, place one container in the fridge (use within 7 days) and the second in the freezer for up to six months.
Pan-fried green kale pesto crusted potatoes and pork tenderloin, with steamed tatsoi, and cherry tomatoes!
- Boil our potatoes until just tender, cut into large chunks, coat with a good helping of the green kale pesto and pan fry until crispy.
- Slice pork tenderloin into 1 inch thick medallions, coat both sides with the pesto and pan-fry until done.
- Serve with steamed tatsoi and fresh cherry tomatoes, sprinkle with finishing sea salt and black pepper.