Tuesday, April 10, 2012

kale pesto

This is one of my favorite ways to eat kale. It is an addictive snack and also great in a wrap with vegetables.

1 small bunch of kale, washed, stems removed, torn into pieces (I got about 8 cups)
1/4 c toasted walnuts
scant 1/4 c pumpkin seeds
1 small clove of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c olive oil
2 T lemon juice, or to taste
pepper if you like
small handful of basil, optional

Toast the walnuts in a dry pan, iron pan if you have it but any pan will do. Toasting brings out the nut's flavor.  I didn't toast the pumpkin seeds because I wanted that chewy texture.
Pulse the kale and everything except the nuts in a cuisinart until it's pretty broken up (maybe 10 pulses). Then add the nuts and pulse 10 more times, scrape down the sides and pulse until you get the desired consistency.

This is really yummy on a crostini (I just lightly sprayed a baguette with olive oil and baked for a few minutes until crunchy but not hardened). It's really extra special when topped with chopped up kalamata olives and a bit of orange zest, but I didn't have either today.
But I did have some cashews so I made a quick cashew cream which tasted really nice with it. I only made a small batch because it's so rich and I knew I wouldn't finish it. I've heard it freezes well but have never tried that.
By adding nutritional yeast and a bit of lemon, cashew cream really turns cheesy and is great on top of pasta. But for today I kept it really simple.

1/2 c raw cashews soaked overnight or at least 5 hours
1/4 c water
1/4 tsp white miso
pinch of salt

put everything into the blendtec and blend until smooth. Soaking the nuts overnight does make them perfectly smooth, but I didn't care so much about that.

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