Friday 11 May 2012

Kale Basil Walnut Pesto

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I came to the pesto loving party a bit late in my life. Maybe I had it as a kid and loved it, I don’t remember (there’s that memory problem again), but I do remember the first time I bought it for myself when I was no longer living under the roof of my parents.  I was living in Amsterdam at the time and some friends kept eating really delicious looking pasta. They used the word pesto, they were French, I got confused. But off I trotted to the Albert Heijn (grocery store) and found myself staring at a row of jars - all of which look the same to me, all of which say something slightly different from the next, in Dutch, which means I don’t understand any of them.  So, me being me, I don’t choose the most basic looking one, no no no, I choose the one in the prettiest bottle (I don’t think i’m alone here?) and doesn’t it turn out to be olive based pesto.  This is the part of the story where I tell you I HATE olives! Except olive bread, that is a whole other league of food. Anyway, long story short, for the longest time, I thought that’s what ALL pesto tasted like. Blech. No, thank you.

Cut to the not too recent, but not too distant past and I somehow stumble across pesto again. This time without knowing the name first... ummm DELICIOUS! I was SHOCKED when I found out this was what pesto really was. And excited. Now if you say the words pesto and chicken in the same sentence, I’m all over it like chocolate on a sundae - yes, please!

This pesto takes the wonderful adaptable quality of pesto and adds things like kale, and walnuts.  It’s fresh and versatile and you can freeze into little hockey pucks and it will last a good long time in the freezer, allowing you to pull out a puck or two at a time to meet your needs. Love.

This is my favourite bowl, and this is why.
Feel free to mix up the ingredients to meet your pantry/taste preferences. Almonds, or classic pine nuts would be great. As would spinach. Have fun!

Kale Basil Walnut Pesto
Measurements are approximate as I would taste and add as I went, I recommend the same!

2 cups Kale
2 cups Basil
1/2 cup Walnuts
4 cloves of garlic, chopped - i used large ones, add more if you are using smaller cloves, or like a very garlic-y pesto
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 - 1/3 grated parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp of salt (I prefer a good sea salt for this)


  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and mix to desired consistency, about 1 minute.
  2. Make sure to taste test and adjust to your tastes
  3. Enjoy!

To freeze: fill a each space in a muffin tray about half way. Freeze for at least one hour, so the shape will hold. Remove from tray, and place in freezer bag. Take as many as you need for a meal about 30 minutes before using it and enjoy as a busy weeknight meal!

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