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Kicked Kale Pecan Almond Pesto & Pasta

February 27, 2012
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Here’s a post from my hubby dear on the yummy Kale pesto he made last week..no edits or help from me….

I had an assignment to use the kale in a dish by TCube (The Taste Tinkerer) one evening. I have to admit that the only kale dishes I like are on this website and felt like a pasta that evening. Kale is a strong almost intense green and I wanted to use it all – so decided to try making a pesto.

What you need:

  • ~3 cups chopped Kale (Only the leaves from a bunch)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup slivered almond
  • 1/4 cup Pecan (you can also use walnut or other strong flavored nuts)
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup ev olive oil
  • salt to taste ~ 1tablespoon
  • fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 seeded jalapeƱo (this is the kick and it is optional)
  • 2~3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar (I used a blazin balsamic adding to the kick from http://tresclassique.com/) – you can skip vinegar completely but your recipe would call more olive oil

How it is done
Chop or crush pecans/walnuts and almonds and toast the nuts on a fryin pan without any oil. Keep stirring till the nuts develop a dark brown toast for a couple of minutes evenly. The toasting is needed to balance the strong taste of kale. Set aside.

Add chopped kale, garlic, toasted nuts, parmesan cheese, salt, fresh ground pepper and all optional ingredients you choose to a food processor/mixer – except add only half of the oil and vinegar. Pulse/blend away pausing to force the lighter kale into the mix and continue to add the remaining olive oil and vinegar. The ratios here should give you a spreadable consistency of pesto, but if you want more flowing consistency it will call for doubling the olive oil. Now you have 1.5 cups of delicious kale pesto that can go in pastas, sandwiches, soups or dipping. This pesto is unlike others in that the kale is the star – the nutty roasted nuts, heat from jalapeno and pepper (and acid from balsamic vinegar) temper the bitterness of raw kale and bring out its bold flavor. We can say it is our new favorite pesto and will try it with our favorite Bolani from the San Mateo farmers market soon.

How to make to simple pasta w/ the pesto

For the sauce

  • 4~5 roma tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup of kale pesto
  • Cook 2 cups of pasta al dente

Chop finely and saute tomates with olive oil in a wok/frying pan till it is saucy. Add vegetables/meat and cook as desired – I used fresh chopped bell peppers. Then add the pesto and mix it in with runny tomato sauce – it is important that you toss in the cooked pasta soon as the cheese in the pesto will start melting. Toss and turn the pasta for the sauce to coat evenly and garnish with some fresh kale and balsamic vinegar.

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2 Comments
  1. Rekha permalink

    Quite healthy …Kale is an interesting choice in this recipe!

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