Raw Kale Pesto
In keeping with the summery theme of the past few weeks, this week sees us enjoying a bright green, brightly flavoured and supper table -brightening pesto. As this is a recipe for a bowl of pasta full of wholesome goodness to be shared with Little Boy Green and, in time, with Baby Green, I have kept the salt content noticeably lower than in a conventional pesto. Also, as it is important that the said bowl of pasta has a lot of nutrition, we want to pile up the sauce that has the green goodness. Consequently, this pesto is not as punchy with the basil flavour as you might expect. This recipe will call for maybe 1.5-2 tablespoons of pesto to be mixed in with each bowl of pasta, in keeping with the proportions of traditional pesto echt is usually enough to flavour an adult portion of pasta.
The basil flavour here is more of a gentle stroke than the knock-out punch usually dealt by pesto. We have not really replaced the cheese with anything in particular, although there is a bit of nutritional yeast there, but, much to our surprise, found that for us it did not make any difference. The salt, oil, basil and pine nuts were enough of a foundation to allow some tweaking of the recipe to alter the ingredients and flavour without losing what I think of as the summery essence of pesto.
The pesto will keep for more than a few days in the fridge, and is delicious as a salad dressing with some added oil, as a sandwich condiment, drizzled over a plate of tomatoes or mixed in with some chunky vegetable soup for a kind of a pistou. This recipe also lends itself for variation and experimentation. Fresh spinach would work, as would pretty much any leafy greens. We have also previously made a broccoli pesto, which is best eaten fresh, right after it is made. This recipe makes a good jar of pesto with lots of leftovers - we have about 2/3 of the jar still waiting to be used.
Mrs Green is a big fan of this recipe, and requests it regularly. Sometimes we serve it up with some sauted courgette, at other times the pasta and the sauce do not want to share the bowl with others. Yesterday we had the spaghetti mixed in with raw courgette spaghetti. As I write this, Little Boy Green is yet to deliver a verdict on this, but we are hopeful. Will report back - watch this space.
Ingredients: (makes roughly 250ml, 1 cup)
- 200g kale, we used cavolo nero
- 50g fresh basil leaves
- 50g pine nuts
- 1 X clove garlic
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
- 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 100ml olive oil
- Tear the kale leaves from their tough stem and discard the stem.
- Place all ingredients into a food processor fitted with the S blade and blend until smooth.
- Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.