Kale is taking over my refrigerator. Every week, in my CSA, we receive kale. And every week, I am not sure how I can possibly use it all. I will pull off a little here and there. Place it in a stir fry or a pasta dish. But the rest stays put. Lying in the refrigerator in an ever growing pile. Usually I would make a soup. Kale, sausage, leeks. Perhaps some white beans. Mmmm. But I have not really been in the soup kind of mood. And I don’t think anyone in my household would appreciate a hot soup on a warm summer’s evening. So, the other night, as I am once again contemplating this dilemma, it hits me. Pesto. Kale would lend itself beautifully to pesto.
Pesto reminds me of summer. It tastes fresh, exploding with flavor. Most greens do well in a pesto: spinach, parsley and of course basil. So I thought, perfect. Kale would make a beautiful summer pesto. And it would use up some of the piles I had lying around. I am also on a constant quest to find ways to make my toddler eat some veggies. If I can disguise them, I might just be able to get them down. Kale is super healthy, full of nutrients and vitamins. So I thought I would give it a try.
I started just by boiling a small amount of water in a fry pan and adding the chopped kale. I let it cook for a few minutes until it was bright green in color. Then I took out my old friend, the mortar and pestle. Now, I am an old fashioned kind of girl. And I love smooshing up my garlic. It is a great stress reliever. Especially when said toddler decides it is a perfect moment to go into the pantry and pull out the blue food dye. 30 minutes later, after attempting to wash the blue smurf hands of my son, I find I am not that much better off. And I hope and pray they do not look at me too strangely when I go to the grocery store later that night. But I digress. When you add the salt to the garlic mixture, and it all starts to grind together, I get very excited. The lemon mixed with the oil and the salt and the garlic, a little sun dried tomato, some green onion, it smells fragrant and wonderful, and I am starting to get hungry. If however, you do not need an outlet for said frustrations, a food processor, used for connivence and ease, would work just as well. Then I added the kale to the garlic mixture, a little cheese and almonds. Done. It really did not take me long at all. You whir it all together adding oil as you go until it all comes together. This really will vary depending on machines. I wanted the kale to get nice and chopped up. So I probably pureed it for 5 minutes.
There are so many things you can do with this pesto. A nice topper to some pasta, on a pizza. Even in a sandwich. And I have to tell you, I put some on a slice of bread, and my son gobbled it up. All in all, it was a good day in the kitchen.
1 bunch kale, chopped
1 cup sun dried tomatoes (preferably in oil)
2 large cloves garlic
1 green onion (you can substitute regular onion if necessary, just use 1/4 of it)
1/2 a lemon
1/2 cup almonds
nice pinch of sea salt
3/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano or asiago cheese
1 1/2 cups olive oil (more or less depending on your food processor)
Boil enough water in bottom of pan to cover by 1 inch. Add chopped kale. Cook for a few minutes or until Kale is bright green. Do not overcook.
Place garlic cloves, green onion, lemon juice, almonds, salt, cheese, and sun dried tomatoes in food processor. Add kale. While pureeing mixture, slowly add olive oil. You may have to stop your machine from time to time and stir, as kale is a bit more course than basil. Puree mixture until all ingredients are smooth and there are no large chunks. Enjoy.
For more photos and recipe ideas, check out Corey’s blog, Intheorganickitchen.com. Visit weekly to see her latest organic obsession.