Kale almond pesto is the perfect way to add more veggies to your meal without having to chomp through a huge salad or stir-fry! The acid from the lemon and the balsamic vinegar perfectly balances out the kale and the taste is spectacular as a base for pizza or on pasta noodles! This pesto is simple to make and stores fantastically in the fridge for a few days! I kept the cheese out of this one but added some almonds for body and some much needed fat. This won't replace your basil pesto but it's certainly a lovely change of pace in my book!
If you are anything like me, you have had an abundance of food over the past few days! I've been craving something just a bit lighter and full of veggies and this pesto hit the spot. I actually have enjoyed it many ways but my favorite has been as the base for a vegan sweet potato pizza bites. I heard that 2014 was the year of kale, so I figured we might as well end the year with a bang :) I put as much kale as physically possible into this pesto (I couldn't jam any more in the food processor!). The result was all the flavors of my favorite kale salad but none of the chewing required :)
Sometimes kale can be difficult to eat. I personally need there to be some acid in the picture. I used both lemon juice and balsamic vinegar in this dish, but lime juice and sherry vinegar also produce a lovely version :) Make adjustments with what you have on hand and your own personal preferences. This pesto is great the day you make it but is even better the next day when the vinegar has a chance to mellow out. I would recommend making a big jar, it won't stick around long. I have made a batch of this for my little sister and she liked it so much she asked me to teach her how to make it so she can have it anytime she wants! It always makes me smile when I learn that she likes one of my recipes so much.
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Needless to say, this recipe is quick and easy and you likely have all the ingredients in your kitchen already. Pretty sure you've got dinner covered! Like I said before, this kale almond pesto is great as the base for pizza instead of red sauce, on pasta, on eggs, drizzled on veggies (thinned out a little) as an addition to lasagna (wait till you see my collard green lasagna with this pesto!). I might be a little obsessed with how easy this is to pull together and since I always have at least 2 bags of kale around I am always looking for new ways to enjoy my kale!
If you guys enjoy recipes like this and are wondering why I like to make all of my own pestos and sauces, please read my clean eating post. I started this journey a few years ago but just recently got serious about the foods I eat everyday. I can tell you right now, my body is a little upset with me considering I haven't been eating as clean as usual over the holiday season. But luckily, it's easy for me to get right back on track because I know the way I eat is nourishing my body and helping me be the best version of me. If you are interested in learning more about clean eating, check out my new e-book Beginner Guide to Clean Eating.
Kale Almond Pesto
- Remove the large stems from the kale leaves and tear into smaller more manageable pieces.
- Add 1/2 of the kale to food processor along with lemon juice and balsamic vinegar.
- Blitz until the kale has been broken down. Add olive oil, water, salt and pepper and almonds.
- Process 2 minutes until everything has been thoroughly incorporated.
- Add remaining kale to the food processor and process another 2-3 minutes until thick pesto sauce has been formed.
- Add as much additional kale as you see fit, blend until incorporated.
- Taste for salt and pepper.
- Store in airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
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If you are using this sauce as a pasta sauce, reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water before draining once pasta is finished cooking. Add 2-3 tbs. of cooking water to the kale almond pesto. This will help the pesto adhere to the pasta, as the starch from the pasta will be in the reserved water.
What about you?
- What is your favorite way to enjoy kale?
- Is kale something you pick up on your usual grocery haul?
- Have you started thinking about New Year's Resolutions?