Monday, May 12, 2014

Kale and Walnut Pesto

I went overboard this weekend at the farmer’s market, buying a boatload of kale.  Instead of going to an old standby, like this kale salad or this one McKenzie made last week, I made a big batch of kale and walnut pesto. 

Pesto—of one variety or another—always lives in my fridge.  It makes its way onto my morning egg, adds extra deliciousness to avocado toast and is an easy ticket to a five-minute dinner: just add pasta.  

Tonight, try tossing whole wheat pasta with this kale and walnut pesto for an easy weeknight meal.  Walnuts are a good source of plant-based protein, fiber and essential omega-3 fatty acids (ALA).

To make the pasta, just saute some garlic in a little olive oil and add oven-roasted grape tomatoes. Add the hot pasta (preferably whole wheat), a little cooking water and a few tablespoons of kale and walnut pesto.  Dinner in five!

Kale and Walnut Pesto

Makes about 1 cup

½ cup walnuts, toasted
1 bunch kale, washed and stemmed
Zest of one lemon
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Large pinch of salt
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup grated parmesan cheese

To the bowl of your food processor, add the walnuts.  Pulse until coarsely ground.  Add the kale, lemon zest, red pepper flakes and salt.  Pulse again until kale is finely ground.  Stream in the extra virgin olive oil until you get the desired consistency.  Remove the pesto to a bowl and stir in the parmesan cheese.

Note:    I dislike the taste of raw garlic, but if you like garlic, just add a minced garlic glove with the kale.    

Thank you to California Walnuts, for supplying the walnuts for this recipe!


  1. This looks SO good - love the addition of kale instead of basil and walnuts instead of pine nuts - very unique!

    1. Thanks so much, Ginger! Let us know if you get a chance to try it :)