Kale Pesto

When I found out about the the Food Matters Project I put my hand up straight away to be involved. The subject, Mark Bittman’s The Food Matters Cookbook. The mission, to cook our way through the book with a new recipe each week, each participant putting their own spin on the recipe. The concept of the cookbook is to eat more wholefoods and less processed foods – simple but sound advice. This week was Roasted Red Pepper (Capsicum) and Walnut “Pesto”. I love pesto. I love roasted capsicums, but alas my local had no capsicums today. I did however have half a bunch of kale, and so it was decided – kale pesto!

Kale is an absolute POWERHOUSE! Just look at it! Packed full of chlorophyll, it is an ancient member of the cabbage family that has been traditionally used to ease lung congestion and benefit the stomach. It also contains a wonderful amount of antioxidants, calcium, iron, vitamin C, manganese and vitamin K1.

Making pesto from Kale is a fabulous way to reap it’s benefits as you are eating it raw and together with other nourishing ingredients to increase the absorption of the nutrients. Nifty eh! And oh so easy!! 

You will need:
2 1/2 cups (tightly packed) kale, washed and torn from the stem
1/3 cup of cashews
1 large clove of garlic, chopped
130-150ml olive oil
1 teaspoon miso paste
2 tablespoons (or more) of parmesan (optional)

Combine all ingredients and 1/2 the oil. Whiz it all up in a food processor or in a bowl with a stick blender, gradually adding the rest of the oil.

That’s it! Makes about 1 1/4 cups.

This is a really gutsy pesto that packs a punch. I have used this over pasta, bean mixes, dolloped onto soups, on poached eggs and as a dip. Delish!

Check out how the Food Matters Project members interpreted the original Roasted Capsicum and Walnut Pesto.

Kale can be a little frightening for some people, I can understand, but I just think it is so beautiful! Try adding a little to your next stir fry and see how you go. Now you have me thinking about kale chips…..

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