We love pesto! It’s one of the most versatile things you can have on hand & not just for pasta: brush some onto chicken or salmon fillets, stir a spoonful into a nice soup or mashed potato or simply dip crusty bread into it for a quick snack! There are fewer things that are cheaper or faster to make & I can promise that once you make your own, you won’t want shop-bought again! We wanted to try something different this time because the two main ingredients of a traditional pesto, basil & pine nuts, are expensive – so our Kale & Walnut Pesto was born!
Kale is a fantastic vegetable though I do prefer Cavalo Nero for actual cooking; wilted greens with a drizzle of oil & a few thin slices of garlic is a great side dish for anything I’ve started to explore curly kale now though – it’s cheap (you can get a massive bag for around £1) & still has that fresh ‘green’ taste I like If you’re going to cook it though, I think it does need almost-harsh treatment – it’s counter-intuitive to me to cook greens for 10 minutes, but I think it intensifies the flavour of curly kale The times when I’ve not really enjoyed curly kale is when I’ve treated it like most greens & cooked it in 2-3 minutes This time though, we’re going raw!
A quick note on the ingredients – this is the sort of dish you can improvise with I made this on a whim to try it out, so didn’t have much to hand except for the kale I had to cheat & use a drizzle of Garlic oil because I was missing a garlic clove; I even had to use a splash of Basil oil to replace the fresh basil Add what you fancy, mix it up a bit – as long as you have some nuts for texture, some greens for body, parmesan for character & some cold-pressed oil, you can’t really go wrong
It looks like a lot of cheese but it really isn’t, especially considering this will be split across 8-10 meals I think it’s better folded in rather than whizzed up in the processor too
A note about the lemon – it’s better to be too lemony than not lemony enough; it is oily, so needs a lift & something to cut through it When you think you’ve added enough lemon juice, my advice would be to add another half a lemons’ worth – it’ll look like it’s too much, but it won’t be!
As a tip, I have a bottle of pure lemon juice (& lime juice) in the fridge – they’re less than £1 but it means you always have lemon juice to hand Having these bottles makes such a difference to my cooking, you really should try it unless you always have fresh lemons in the house In which case, well done you 🙂
This is the perfect base for a zesty, green pesto packed full of nutrients & flavour Cover it with oil & it’ll keep in the fridge for couple of days, but I tend to freeze it in small pots I tweak it according to what I’m in the mood for – tonight I crumbled a dried chilli into it for a kick when I tossed a spoonful through freshly cooked pasta I really enjoyed this recipe & it’s made me want to explore more with raw foods!
If you like this, why not try our Basil & Walnut Pesto too & compare?
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