Packed full of nutrition, this kale and almond pesto is a breeze to whip up. It’ll keep well for up to a week in the fridge for a quick midweek meal and it freezes well too. Stir into pasta, or serve a dollop with soup or grilled chicken.
I never used to like kale. Many years ago I’d tried cooking with the pre-chopped supermarket variety and the bitter flavour really put me off eating it.
That was until kale began making a regular appearance in my organic veg box. My veg box kale is a gorgeous mix of different varieties so the flavour isn’t uniform, and it’s quite pleasing to the eye with its assorted colours.
I’d been toying with the idea of making a kale and walnut pesto (since I seem to have a cupboard full of walnuts leftover from a recipe commission), when my next veg box arrived with a bag of kale – and a recipe for kale and almond pesto.
I’d tried that recipe and found it needed a lot of tweaking in order to get to a place where I liked it. I doubled the quantities of olive oil, reduced the quantity of almonds and kale and put in loads of freshly grated Parmesan – after all, pesto isn’t pesto unless there’s cheese, right?
To this, I added a generous glug of basil-infused olive oil for extra flavour, and the resulting dish was… well, rather fantastic. Stirred through a bowlful of hot pasta it made for a rather delicious and satisfying midweek meal, for several days. Leftovers were popped into the freezer for the winter.
It was so good, that the following week when another gorgeous bag of kale arrived in my veg box I thought I’d make it again, but this time jotting down the measurements so I could share it with you.
Feel free to adjust the quantities to your taste, adding more garlic or lemon, or even twice the quantity of Parmesan, if desired. Maybe next week I’ll experiment with those walnuts and see how that turns out.
INGREDIENTS FOR KALE AND ALMOND PESTO
- 100 grams fresh kale leaves – I used the mixed kale from my veg box (150 gram starting weight, before de-stalking)
- 30 grams of fresh basil leaves – a generous handful
- 100 grams raw almonds – soak them for an hour or so to soften them up a bit
- 1 large garlic clove
- 1 lemon – juice and zest
- 30 grams grated Parmesan cheese or a vegetarian equivalent
- a good pinch of sea salt
- 200 ml olive oil – use a good quality one for the best flavour
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HOW TO MAKE KALE AND ALMOND PESTO
Step 1: Soak your almonds in cold water for at least an hour. De-stalk the kale.
Step 2: Coarsely chop the kale, zest & juice the lemon, grate the cheese and crush the garlic.
Step 3: Place everything into a high-speed blender – I use the Froothie Optimum 9400.
Step 4: Don’t forget the basil!
Step 5: Blend until it reaches your desired consistency, using the tamper tool to keep things moving.
Step 6: Stir into pasta, or serve as desired!
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This kale and almond pesto really hits the spot when you’re craving something green, but you also want that carb hit. I don’t know about you, but this time of year I’m really not in the mood for salads and light crunchy summery foods. I want to hibernate. I want a generous bowlful of carbs, but I’m still craving ‘green’ sometimes.
How do you work with kale? Have you got any recipes you’d recommend? Let me know in the comments!
Kale and Almond Pesto Recipe
- Cover raw almonds in cold water and leave to soak for an hour (or overnight in the fridge).
- Destem and coarsely chop the kale leaves and place in a high speed blender along with the remainin ingredients.
- Blend until it reaches your desired consistency - I like mine rather smooth with little chunks in it.
- Transfer to a container, cover in a little extra olive oil, and store in the fridge for up to a week.
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