We just love it when two loves collide…in this case we combined our love of kale and our love of pesto and mixed them up. With this mashup, lemon kale pesto was born and we are definitely in LOVE with the combo! Kale pesto is something you can easily whip up on a Sunday afternoon so it’s ready to roll for quick and easy weekday cooking. You can use the lemon kale pesto on pasta, with sautéed veggies as a marinade for chicken, the list is endless.
Since kale is a heartier leaf you need to boil and blanch the kale to break it down before adding it to the food processor with the other ingredients. Strip off the stem of the kale and add the leaves to boiling water for about 30 second. Transfer the kale to a bowl of ice cold water – this is called blanching. It stops the cooking and keeps the color vibrant.
One you’ve blanched the kale it’s time to throw everything together and make your pesto. Add all of the ingredients to the food processor except for the olive oil, scrape down the sides until everything is all mixed up. Keep the food processor running and slowly add the olive oil until combined. Speaking of olive oil…use the good stuff, don’t skimp on cheap olive oil. It makes a huge difference and makes everything taste that much better. Always spend the extra few dollars when it comes to olive oil!!! Okay, olive oil rant officially over…at least for this post!
Now check out the beautiful vibrant color of this lemon kale pesto. Gorgeous….almost too pretty to eat, but not really…you definitely need to eat this!! You will notice an earthier and heartier flavor when making pesto from kale instead of basil. A great twist on a classic favorite, we hope you love this as much as we do!
- 1 medium bunch lacinato kale, stems removed
- ⅓ C toasted walnuts
- 2 cloves garlic
- juice of 1 lemon
- zest of 1 lemon
- ⅓ C grated romano cheese
- ½ C good quality olive oil
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp cracked pepper
- Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add kale to the boiling water and remove with a slotted spoon or thongs after 30 seconds. Transfer immediately to a bowl of ice water. Drain and dry kale on paper towels.
- Using a food processor add kale, walnuts, garlic, lemon juice and zest and romano cheese. Pulse until combined. With the food processor running drizzle in the olive oil, add in S&P. Pulse, stopping to scrape down sides with a spatula until fully incorporated and broken down. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 10 days.