|Kale and Basil Pesto is a delicious way to eat your greens!|
This recipe for Kale and Basil Pesto with Lemon and Parmesan is a Public Service Announcement for all those lucky people who are growing kale in their gardens. I actually made the pesto in these photos last September when my garden at the old house was bursting with kale. Since I was giving kale away to anyone who stopped by, the abundance of kale led me to experiment with using it as an ingredient in pesto. Kale is a strong flavor, so I froze my pesto in this mini-muffin tin, and each little ball of pesto was about three tablespoons, just the right amount to stir into a soup or toss with some pasta or rice. If you have kale growing in your garden, or if your CSA or Farmer's Market gives you more kale than you know what to do with this summer, I highly recommend making this as soon as possible.
Freeze the pesto in ice cube trays or mini-muffin trays so you have small cubes of Kale and Basil Pesto to add to dishes whenever you want a little touch of greens flavor. (When the balls of pesto are frozen, I seal them inside plastic bags with my FoodSaver.)
(Makes about 2 cups of pesto; recipe created by Kalyn when her garden was bursting with kale.)
You'll need a food processor to make this recipe successfully. I use this Cuisinart Food Processor that I've had for many years.
4 cups (tightly packed) chopped kale leaves
2 tsp. + 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6-8 large cloves garlic (to taste; I like this heavy on the garlic)
2 cups basil leaves
3 T fresh squeezed lemon juice (I use my fresh-frozen lemon juice)
1 cup coarsely grated Parmesan (If you only have fine-grated Parmesan, I would use a little less.)
salt to taste (I used about a 1/2 teaspoon of salt.)
Coarsely chop the kale leaves and measure out 4 cups of packed chopped kale. Give the kale a good wash in the salad spinner if it needs it and spin dry . Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan and saute the kale just until it wilts, about 2-3 minutes over medium heat.
Put the wilted kale and garlic into the food processor (using the steel blade) and chop until it's finely chopped. Then add the basil leaves, put the lid on the food processor, and add the olive oil and lemon juice through the feed tube while you process the mixture. When it's fairly well combined, add the coarsely grated Parmesan and salt and process until the pesto is as smooth as you'd like it (about 1 minute for me.)
This pesto can be frozen in ice-cube trays or small mini-muffin tin cups. I put the frozen cubes of pesto into plastic bags and seal with my FoodSaver. The Kale and Basil pesto is a delicious addition to soups or salad dressings, stirred into hot rice or cooked beans, or it can be eaten with pasta.
South Beach Suggestions:
Pesto is not used in large amounts, so even though this recipe has a generous amount of cheese, I would eat it for any phase of the South Beach Diet.
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.
Who Else Made Pesto with Kale?
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Pasta with Kale Pesto, Shrimp, and Tomato ~ The Perfect Pantry
Kale Almond Pesto ~ Food Loves Writing
Kale Pesto for Quick Summer Meals ~ Always Order Dessert
Kale Pesto ~ Christine Cooks
Kale Pesto ~ Sarah's Cucina Bella
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)
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