Easy Kale Pesto

Kale Pesto

When it comes to power greens, it’s nearly impossible for me to pass by a table full of kale without grabbing at least one bunch, whether or not I know what I’m going to do with it when I get home. Sometimes it’ll end up in a salad, or a delicious breakfast skillet, but I’ll admit, lately all I want to do is stick my head in a bowl of pasta. I guess that’s what marathon training will do to a girl. So when that happens and there’s a week-old bunch of kale in the fridge, this, my friends, is the delicious outcome: pasta bathed in a kale pesto.

Kale Pesto

Toasted pine nuts, quality Parmesan and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice bring out the best of kale’s deep, earthy flavors. And let me tell you, this pesto is the perfect way to liven up any bowl of linguine, or add flavor to a crunchy crostini if you’re looking for a quick and easy appetizer idea.

Kale Pesto

Oh, and did I mention just one bunch of kale makes a double batch ?

After thoroughly coating my linguine with half of the raw kale pesto, I popped the rest into the freezer for the next time I crave a big bowl of comforting carbs.

Kale Pesto

And with another eight weeks to go until the San Francisco Marathon, I have a feeling that day isn’t too far off.

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kale pesto in a bowl with bowl of linguine in the background

Easy Kale Pesto


  • Author: Elle
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 0 min
  • Total Time: 20 min
  • Yield: 2 cups pesto 1x

Description

Toasted pine nuts, quality Parmesan and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice bring out the best of kale’s deep, earthy flavors. This pesto is the perfect way to liven up any bowl of linguine, or add flavor to a crunchy crostini if you’re looking for a quick and easy appetizer idea. 


Scale

Ingredients

  • 8 cups coarsely chopped kale, stems removed (from 1 large bunch)
  • 2 cups loosely packed fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, more as needed

Instructions

For the Pesto

  1. Working in small batches, run kale, basil, Parmesan, pine nuts, garlic and lemon juice through a food processor until very fine.
  2. While the food processor is running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until it is thick but smooth, and no longer cakes to the side of the bowl. Yours may require slightly less or more olive oil depending on the variety and amount of kale.
  3. Add more Parmesan or sea salt to taste if needed. Extra pesto freezes well – just store in a freezer bag and defrost for use within 6 months.

Adding to Pasta

  1. Cook 16 ounces pasta according to package directions, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water before draining. Drain and return pasta to pot over low heat.
  2. Add pesto, a good squeeze of lemon juice and just enough pasta water so the pesto spreads easily.
  3. Divide into bowls and top with a generous sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and a pinch of flaky sea salt.

  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Food Processor
  • Cuisine: Healthy

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/4 cup pesto
  • Calories: 200
  • Sugar: 2 g
  • Sodium: 139 mg
  • Fat: 17 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 14 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 9 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 6 g
  • Cholesterol: 5 mg

Keywords: easy kale pesto

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