Huge, I mean HUGE fans of pesto in my house. It is also a very easy way to get everyone to eat their veggies without a battle (this is a good thing coming from mom). Pesto is so good on pasta, eggs, fish, chicken, on pizza crust – the options are endless. It can be made ahead of time – stored in an airtight container in the fridge for weeks. Frozen in ice cube trays for months. A little goes a long way and it’s an economical dinner. So many reasons to be a fan.
Now traditional pestos, in my humble opinion, tend to be overly oily – which I know olive oil is a heart healthy oil but I’m not a fan of anything greasy/oily. This recipe is super clean and doesn’t have a ton of oil but just the right amount.
Benefits of kale include: Low in calories. High in fiber (helping to keep you regular). Zero fat. High in iron. High in vitamin K which protects against a myriad of cancers. Anti-inflammatory food. Supports cardiovascular system by lowering cholesterol. Vitamin A for vision and beautiful skin. Vitamin C for supporting your metabolism and adds to hydration. It has more calcium than milk. It also helps to detox the body by aiding in liver health. That’s just the kale! Spinach and pistachios are also huge powerhouses! I could go on and on…
So back to the recipe.
2 huge handfuls of kale and spinach (equal parts or not)
1/4 cup of nuts (walnuts, pinenuts, almonds or pistachios work best)
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
Juice from one large lemon
Zest from said lemon
Grated parmesan (about 1/3 cup light and fluffy and not packed down)
1/4 cup of olive oil
Salt and pepper
Red pepper flakes (optional)
Into your food processor or Vitamix, add the garlic and process until chopped very finely. Then add the spinach/kale through grated parm. Blend well. Through the opening spout, while the machine is running, add the olive oil. It should change the texture although it will still be mildly course.
Taste and season accordingly.
If topping pasta, always make your sauce first (pesto) and then the pasta. Never have pasta wait for the sauce. Into a large mixing bowl, add about 1/3 cup of pesto and then top with your pasta (and a tablespoon or so of the pasta cooking water). Toss. Add additional pesto as needed. Cover and store in the fridge or freezer as mentioned above.
— Knead to Cook