Kale is something I’ve become quite familiar with in the last few years. It’s healthy, versatile, and due to its recently popularity, is now available in most grocery stores and farmer’s markets around the country.
While perusing the produce section earlier this week, I noticed a gigantic bunch of locally grown, and aptly named, dinosaur kale on sale for $2, and quickly snatched it up.
I’ve made soups, salads and even a cheesy kale bake before, but I was in the mood for something quick and easy – and I remembered the pesto class I took last summer.
The class was held at terrain, a recently opened garden store, cafe, and rainforest-like paradise in Westport, CT. terrain is a sister brand to Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Free People and BHLDN, and has one other location in Glen Mills, PA (more to follow, I assume). I appreciate terrain for its beauty, focus on local artisans and fun events. The merchandise is definitely not for the budget-conscious, but I find it so inspiring wandering around the store and attending the – surprisingly affordable – workshops and classes.
The best takeaway from the pesto class (besides a jar of fresh pesto) was the understanding that pesto is not meant to be a complicated, strict recipe. We used several different types of nuts, seeds and greens to create interesting twists on the standard recipe. Arugula and sunflower seeds, spinach and almonds – it’s not about going out and buying tons of ingredients, but working with what you have on hand – a great philosophy of any home cook.
I, of course, had a plethora of kale, a tin of cashews and a wilting basil plant to work with, but feel free to use whatever ingredients you like. The recipe also calls for 1 clove of garlic, but my love of garlic rivals Steve Urkel’s love of cheese, so, I tripled it (again use the recommended amount should you so desire) and mangia!
- ½ cup nuts or seeds (I used cashews)
- 3 garlic cloves
- Approx. 3 cups kale or other greens
- Approx. 1/2 cup of fresh basil (optional)
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ – 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp water
- Sea Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Add all ingredients to a blender (I used a Magic Bullet) and pulse until smooth. If using a food processor (as recommended) pulse dry ingredients and add the olive oil slowly until blended.
Serve immediately over warm pasta with fresh tomatoes.