Kale and Basil Pesto

This recipe just came together because I happened to have a bunch of ingredients that needed to be cooked because they were starting to look a little sad.  I had bought a bunch of kale thinking I would make a salad out of it, but I kept getting cravings for other food so it just got comfy in the fridge.  Then my dear friend in San Diego gave me her basil plant because she was moving back to the Bay Area.  I had some slivered almonds on hand (which I use when I make pesto because I’m allergic to pine nuts and walnuts), olive oil, and garlic (love garlic so much), so it was pretty clear that pesto was going to be on the menu.

This recipe makes a good amount of pesto.  I used maybe a third of it in my half pound of pasta and I plan to use the rest to make pizza this week.  I also used vegetarian Italian sausage because of my recent pescatarianism, but you can use any kind of protein you’d like.  You can also decrease the amount of garlic if you’re not as much of a garlic fanatic as I am.

Kale and Basil Pesto
(makes about 6 cups)

2 cups basil
1 bunch of kale, leaves removed from the stems
1/2 cup slivered almonds
5 cloves garlic
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Blanch kale in a pot of salted boiling water for about 30 seconds.  Place in a ice bath to stop the cooking and drain.
  2. Pour almonds onto a nonstick pan and toast on medium heat, tossing occasionally.  You can also do this by placing the almonds on a baking sheet and toasting them in the oven.
  3. Combine basil, kale, almonds, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice into a food processor (or blender) until blended to your desired consistency.  Add more olive oil if you want the pesto to be smoother.

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