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Aug 21, 2014
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Just Five: Kale Pesto

May 28th 12:05pm, 2012

Everyone was asked to bring something to share at a recent meeting of my coven ladies supper club. There was the usual assortment of cheese, olives, hummus, fried chicken. You know, “lady food.” And then there was this bowl of dark green heaven. We all assumed it was pesto with dipping crackers. But then there were little outbursts: “Who made this?” “Did you try that green stuff?” “What is that?” Suddenly, sparkly-eyed Janet (Her eyes literally sparkle all the time. It’s awesome.) piped up and said, “Ladies, that is kale pesto, and it will change your life.”

Now, I’m not going to lie and say that a hush fell over the room, but at least a few of us leaned forward, intent upon getting the recipe. Turns out it couldn’t be simpler, nor more versatile. I’ve had it with scrambled eggs, chicken and fish. I’ve spread it on crackers and melted it into pasta. It’d also be great on a turkey sandwich, with tomatoes or asparagus. Add extra oil and a splash of vinegar, and you’ve got a good dressing for greens. This is versatility at its best. And now, the kicker: It’s just FOUR ingredients! View the fifth ingredient as a “choose your own adventure.” And for the record, kale pesto would make a great band name.

Kale Pesto
Courtesy of Janet Rhoads
Approximately 1 cup

4 cups kale
1 tsp. lemon zest
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
¾ cup roasted cashews (unsalted)
1 tsp. honey
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

• Tear or cut the tough spine off of the kale leaves. Tear the leaves into manageable pieces, wash and spin or pat dry. Place in the food processor, along with the lemon zest and juice, the cashews and the honey. Pulse a few times until the kale and cashews are chopped.
• With the processor running, drizzle about 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil through the chute until the pesto reaches the consistency you desire. (I like a thicker pesto if using it on chicken or as a dip but a bit thinner for a pasta sauce.).
• Season to taste with salt and pepper.

By Dee Ryan

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3 Responses to “Just Five: Kale Pesto”

  1. Amanda Says:
    May 29th, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Making it. Boom. Thank you.

  2. Janet Rhoads Says:
    May 29th, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    Hooray! I am so happy more people will experience the awesomeness! Also, you can use raw unsalted cashews if you wanna! :)

  3. Colleen Dempsey Dotson Says:
    May 29th, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Fantastic!! You often hear people say “I don’t know what to do with the kale I got in my coop box”- well now you do! YUM!

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