Kale Pesto

Prep Time:5 mins, Cook Time: 0 mins, Total Time: 5 mins

December 29, 2013

Homemade Kale Pesto

Hardly the most festive of recipes I know (other than in colour of course) but nevertheless a very welcome change to all the indulgence going on in my kitchen. It’s no coincidence this has been my tea twice already this week with various roasted veggies and a little pasta. But homemade pesto can also be dolled up and dished out into something really quite special if the fancy takes, namely my Pesto, Sun Dried Tomato & Parmesan Palmier or any other party nibble, tart, pizza or pastry that requires some green goodliness.

Eat Your Veg | Kale Pesto

Regular readers will probably remember homemade pesto became a bit of an obsession of mine in the early part of this year, starting with my new year Parsley & Almond Pesto, quickly moving on to a peppery Rocket Pesto that’s naughtily divine on a Double Rocket Pizza. Followed by my favourite to date of them all (but it’s only marginal), a Stilton, Parsley & Walnut Pesto that’s delectable with spaghetti and a generous scattering of roasted mushrooms. And incidentally a good use for any lingering morsels of christmas Stilton.

As for Kale Pesto, this is probably my healthiest pesto recipe to date. Kale being the super veg that it is. Plus I’ve switched my usual olive for rapeseed oil, as I am increasingly doing across all my cooking these days. Containing less than half the saturated fat of the former and higher in Omegas 3, 6 and 9 than any other vegetable oil, what’s not to love about this glorious yellow British wonder-oil?. And I haven’t even mentioned it’s considerably cheaper price. I use a delicious local Brockmanton rapeseed oil, produced literally a stone’s throw from my Mum and Dad’s house near Leominster.

And if you’ve never made homemade pesto, then it really is a doddle. I promise. Absolutely nothing more than throwing all the ingredients in a processor, or a bowl with a stick blender (or even by hand with a pestle and mortar but this always seems too much like hard work for me!). And once you’ve made your own there’ll be no stopping you. Do check out this blog as a guide to what greenery, nuts, oils, cheeses etc work.

Pesto’s also a great way to get a few extra greens into little tummies. My wee boy adores his ‘green sauce’, goes crazy for it in fact, eating it by the spoonful given half the chance! Smoothed through pasta with an ample amount of extra veggies this is a pretty healthy and speedy dinner all in all. Just wish his big sister was quite so enthusiastic!

Eat Your Veg | Kale Pesto Ingredients

pasta pleaseI’m entering my post to Pasta Please, an event run by Jac of Tinned Tomatoes and this month hosted by Elizabeth’s Kitchen with the theme of ‘Pasta Dishes in Under Half an Hour‘ which of course homemade pesto and pasta is a doddle to do in this timeframe. And regularly is around here!


Eat Your Veg | Kale Pesto Recipe

The Good Stuff:

Kale, Rapeseed Oil, Walnuts, Garlic

Great For:

Toddlers, Pre-Schoolers, Big Kids, Grown Ups, Family Dinners, Mid-Week Suppers, Hiding Veggies, Pasta, Pizzas, Tarts, Pastries, Savoury Nibbles, Sandwiches, Vegetarians, Homemade Pesto Obsessives


Feel free to replace any of the pesto ingredients, experiment with different oils, nuts, cheeses, greenery, as per my Stilton, Walnut & Parsley Pesto post

Special Equipment:

A food processor or stick blender. Or even a pestle and mortar.

Kale Pesto

Ingredients Prep Time:5 mins, Cook Time: 0 mins, Total Time: 5 mins

100g kale, washed and dried
1 handful basil leaves
1 large clove garlic, peeled and chopped
75ml rapeseed oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper
80g walnuts
60g Parmesan or Grana Padano, finely grated

1) Place the kale, basil, garlic, oil, lemon juice and a pinch each of salt and pepper in a food processor and pulse until the kale is broken down
2) Add the walnuts and cheese and whiz again until a suitable texture is achieved. I like mine fairly rustic.
3) Taste and add more oil, lemon juice, salt or pepper or cheese to suit.

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9 thoughts on “Kale Pesto

    1. Louisa

      Happy New Year to you too, though a very late one now! Me too on the pesto front, it’s a pretty major addiction I have – and there’s not much that’s not been ‘pestoed’ round here!

  1. janie

    I too adore pesto, I just wish I’d thought of making this earlier this year when I was literally drowning in kale from the garden!
    Wishing you a fabulous 2014!
    Janie x

    1. Louisa

      Thanks Janie. You must try kale in a pesto when you have another bounty of it. Makes pesto seem uber-healthy and with the amount I seem to get through that’s a very good thing.

  2. Andrea Mynard

    I love Kale pesto too and totally agree re rapeseed oil, we have a framer near to us producing it too and it seems crazy not to make good use of such healthy, local produce. I’ve returned lots of times to your stilton pesto recipe too by the way. Look forward to reading lots more of your lovely recipes in 2014. A very Happy New Year to you!

    1. Louisa

      I think it was actually you who first inspired me to make Kale Pesto early last year some time, so I should be thanking you very kindly! Stilton in pesto is divine and is still my favourite mix, with parsley and walnuts…and served with roasted mushrooms…yummylicious.

  3. J9

    Love the idea of using Kale in Pesto. Pesto’s are great as you can put pretty much anything in! Think Iam going to grow kale this year, if I get the room!



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