GOT KALE? Make my garlicky, lemony, kale pesto! It’s delicious on…everything. Serve it with crackers at your next cocktail party, or as a gorgeous topping for grilled chicken or baked salmon. Or, do what I did yesterday, and stir it into steaming strands of angel hair pasta. Yum, yum, yum. The easy recipe:
Another note. One pound of kale will yield 2 heaping cups of pesto.
Yet another note. If you use large, mature leaves, you’ll want to blanch them first. Why? Because blanching removes much of the leaves’ natural bitterness. It also preserves the gorgeous green color. Young leaves are not particularly bitter, so you need only blanch them if color is important to you.
Now onto the pesto!
On a side-note, I’d just like to say that I haven’t grown bitter with age.
If anything, I’ve mellowed.
Like a fine wine.
Now get off my lawn.
The garlic pictured above came from my own garden.
Don’t pretend you’re not impressed.
Then, with the machine running, add just enough olive oil to achieve the consistency you want. I always start with a very thick sauce, and then thin it out with more oil (or the cooking water from pasta) as needed.
Now taste the paste. You might find that it needs more salt. Salt, like lemon juice, is another bitterness-buster.
How to serve this lemony, nutmeggy, garlicky, nutritious deliciousness?
Here, for your convenience, is a copy-and-paste version of the above:
As made by Kevin Lee Jacobs (www.kevinleejacobs.com)
Ingredients for 2 generous cups of sauce
1 pound kale leaves, the tough stems removed
The juice of 1 lemon
4 ounces slivered almonds
a generous 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 large cloves garlic
1 teaspoon (or more, to taste) kosher salt
a pinch (about 1/4 teaspoon) ground nutmeg
Blanching the leaves — Put the kale leaves into a pot of rapidly-boiling water, and push them down with a wooden spoon. Let cook for 3 minutes. Then scoop up the greens with a fine-mesh sieve, and submerge them in a large bowl of ice water. Chill for 3 minutes. Drain in the sieve, and then spread the leaves onto a clean terry towel. Roll up and press down on the towel to absorb as much moisture as possible.
Making the pesto — Put the blanched leaves, lemon juice, almonds, cheese, and garlic in the food processor. Pulse several times just to break up the ingredients. Then add the salt and the nutmeg. Turn the machine on, and slowly add olive through the feed tube until you achieve the desired consistency.
Tip: If you make a thick pesto, you can always thin it out later with additional olive oil. Or, if you are using the pesto for pasta, thin it out with the pasta cooking water.
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