Kale and Herb Pesto

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I had a whole lot of kale to use I was thinking how could I make this without having to make kale chips. When I made this, it was unseasonably hot here in SE Michigan (and 85 degrees F is very hot for that time of year — I think it was in March) and I didn’t want to turn my oven on unless I really really had to. So I saw the title of a post for a Killer Kale Pesto and wanted to give my take a shot. I didn’t want to go to the grocery so I wanted to use what I had already. Lucky for me I had everything I needed. And I was surprised at some of the similarities between what was in the recipe and what I had in my freezer.

Getting ready to pulse
Got some extra cheese?

Some of you may already know, making things like pesto are very organic and free form for me. I really don’t have specifics here since I go by feel and what the pesto looks like. And with this one, I really like the tarragon in here. It adds a nice subtle twist. And the toasted pecans give a nice butteriness. Here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 c. toasted pepitas
  • 1 c. toasted pecans
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1/2 bunch parsley
  • 4-5 sprigs tarragon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 c. olive oil
  • 1/4 c. grated parmesan

1. Place the nuts in the food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Cut the stems from the kale and cut the spine out of the leaves. Coarsely chop and place in the food processor. Do the same for the parsley. Strip the leaves from the tarragon and place in the food processor as well.

2. Add the salt, pepper, garlic, lemon juice, and the olive oil. Process until smooth. Fold in the parmesan. Can last about a week in the refrigerator. You can freeze them in an ice cube tray to have quick portions of pesto that you can just add to warm pastas and such.

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18 thoughts on “Kale and Herb Pesto

    Lauren said:
    May 22, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Great post! This sounds like a great recipe for a party!

    thehungryartist said:
    May 22, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    OOh – what a great idea using kale and pepitas and pecans–sounds so tasty!

      Jereme's Kitchen responded:
      May 22, 2012 at 3:05 pm

      i really liked it. the kale gave it a nice hearty, earthy quality

    tanyamhudson said:
    May 22, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Love this! I almost always end up improvising when I make pesto. Really, who needs pine nuts? Pecans and pepitas sound good to me! 🙂

      Jereme's Kitchen responded:
      May 22, 2012 at 3:05 pm

      all my pesto recipes are usually just thrown together. i usually just go for texture and taste, changing things as i go

    Kristen said:
    May 22, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Looks interesting. I’ll have to try it out. 🙂

    Cheryl S. said:
    May 22, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Cannot WAIT to try this. I am kale junkie.

    Just A Smidgen said:
    May 22, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    I love tarragon.. I almost used it in today’s recipe:) I’m so happy to see new recipes that use kale and other dark greens.. I know I need to get more of those into the day, but never sure how to do it! This looks like a yummy recipe to try!

      Jereme's Kitchen responded:
      May 22, 2012 at 4:35 pm

      that’s a struggle for me to. cuz sometimes, i just don’t want a salad!

        Just A Smidgen said:
        May 22, 2012 at 7:51 pm

        I know.. my salads (day to day) suck unless I make them from some sort of recipe..

    df said:
    May 24, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Must try this, sounds terrific, and I always have kale around!

    gwynnem said:
    May 27, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    I want to eat kale, all the time. Now you’ve given me a way to diversify my kale consumption. 🙂 Thanks for sharing this great recipe and for visiting my blog!

    e.marie said:
    May 30, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    i love kale pesto, but have never added tarragon… it’s going on my list of must adds.. thanks!

    chefbrian1 said:
    June 1, 2012 at 10:34 am

    Great idea. I am growing 5 types of kale (10-15) plants and this recipe will help me use it all.

      Jereme's Kitchen responded:
      June 1, 2012 at 10:41 am

      i’d try growing kale myself, but i don’t get enough sun for anything. thanks for stopping by!

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