Kale and Basil Pesto

Kale Pesto Audrey's
I never got on the kale bandwagon. I tried to like kale, but failed miserably in the past. Even kale chips didn’t impress me. The other week my fears came true – our CSA share included quite a large bunch of kale. What to do? I didn’t want to waste it, so I scoured the two very healthy blogs, Sprouted Kitchen and Love and Lemons to see what they had done with kale that might convince me to try.

And guess what? Kale pesto was something I was willing to try and something I actually liked! I won’t ever go out of my way to buy kale, but if I happen to have some kale, this pesto will be top of my list. We served it with eggs one day, mixed it with boiled potatoes and a little extra olive oil another day, and added it to pasta with a splash of cooking water for dinner one night. It’s tasty, versatile and healthy as well.

Kale and Basil Pesto - inspired by Sprouted Kitchen and Love and Lemons

Yield: This makes a lot of pesto - about 1.5 cups.


  • 1 medium bunch kale, thick stems removed
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup lightly toasted walnuts
  • 1/4 cup of pine nuts
  • handful fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • juice of one lemon
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil or more for smoother texture


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cut the tough stems from the kale and roughly chop the leaves. Blanch the kale leaves for about 30 seconds, transfer to a strainer and run cold water over them to stop the cooking. Once the kale is cool, squeeze out the excess water.
  2. In a food processor, combine the garlic, walnuts and pine nuts and pulse to chop. Add the kale, basil, Parmesan, red pepper flakes, lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and pulse to combine. Turn the processor on and drizzle in the olive oil until you get the consistency you like. Taste and adjust as needed.


To use as a dressing add a little more water and lemon juice. If using it in pasta, reserve a bit of cooking water to help loosen the pesto so it coats the pasta nicely


Kale Pesto Audrey's

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