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Kale Pistachio Pesto

Kale Pistachio Pesto

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Who said that pesto has to be made only with basil.  Kick it up a nosh or two with this delicious Kale Pistachio Pesto.  This recipe will take your boring pasta to the next level, and it will make a chicken sing when simply baked.



We finally upgraded our camera.  Not because we needed too, we just outgrew the other.  We are pretty excited about it, as it will be fun to start shooting in full-frame.  Do wish the learning curve was not so big.  We were surprised how different it works compared to our old camera;  more of a big kid toy.  Bare with us while we learn how to use it by making some easy-go-to-meals.  Quick to make, easy to photograph.

We will be traveling a lot the next couple months.  All work, no play.  When we lived in the city, there were a Whole Foods on the way home from the airport.  It was easy to stop in grab a chicken, some endives, cheese, bread and a bottle of wine;  this became our welcome home meal.  Now, it is not so easy.  In order to keep us happy when we are home, I have been making delicious something for the freezer.  Cooking pots of beans to have on hand for last-minute meals.  Freezing some sausage to add to the beans.  And sauces for quick pasta dinners.



I love making pestos.  Not only are they great with the obvious but they are also wonderful rubbed all over meat and fish prior to cooking.  Spread over chunks of bread, instead of butter.  Smeared over steamed vegetables.  And of course on pasta.  I have a few versions that I tend to make, that does not include Basil.  Do love the traditional Basil pesto but there are so many other ways.  For instance, what about the forgotten herb Parsley.  Not only is it great as a garnish, it makes a mean pesto.  Or how about spinach and walnut.  Yum.

Last week I had a bunch of kale and instead of playing with it the way I normally do, I had some fun.  I roasted pistachios, garlic, and spicy Cayenne peppers until they were fragrant.  Then I blended everything with fresh kale, parsley, and olive oil.  No cheese.  Completely dairy free.  This recipe is texture rich, slightly spicy and so good that I eat by the spoon.



Kale Pistachio Pesto


1 cup pistachios

2 cayenne peppers

5 cloves garlic with the paper left on

1 bunch of dinosaur kale

1 cup Italian parsley

juice of 1 small lemon

3/4 cup olive oil

kosher salt, to taste

How To:

Preheat the oven to 400.

Bring a large pot of water to boil.

Scatter the nuts, peppers, and garlic onto a baking sheet.  Lightly drizzle with some olive oil.  Place into the oven and cook until fragrant;  about 8 – 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool.  Once cool enough to handle, squeeze the garlic out of the skins.

Blanch the kale for 2 minutes.  Remove from the water and immediately run under very cool water to stop the cooking process.  Pat dry with paper towels.  Set aside.

Place the nut mixture, kale and parsley into a food processor.  Process until roughly chopped.  With the food processor running, slowly add the olive oil.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.







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Mimi Denman

Friday 28th of September 2012

I've been looking for a way to eat kale that might even appeal to people who don't love veggies and I think this is it - thanks!


Thursday 27th of September 2012

Wow, I am really love this. I am dairy free most of the time and this is great.


Wednesday 26th of September 2012

Gorgeous photos, Denise! I love pesto, but I hardly ever make it (I guess I forget about it?!) Anyway, that chicken looks so good. I must try my hand at your pesto soon...I know I'll need to start freezing delicious somethings here pretty soon ;) xo

alison @ Ingredients, Inc

Tuesday 25th of September 2012

oh i am LOVING THIS!

Denise Woodward

Thursday 27th of September 2012

Oh Alison, you don't even know it. We love it smeared on just about everything. ~ Lenny

Jill @ Freestyle Farm

Sunday 23rd of September 2012

I've got tons of kale in the garden! Will definitely be making this! What a great idea for greens.