Friday, June 1, 2012

Kale pesto

Slowly, but surely, my kale-to-chard intake ratio is increasing. One day last week, I devoured an entire bunch of the dino variety in kale chip form and found myself with crispy green shards scattered on the couch, my hand coated in olive oil, craving for more. And for Mother's Day, I made the kale and mushroom risotto. 

If you find yourself with an abundance of kale, lucky you! There are so many ways to have fun with the vegetable. Recently, I've been whipping up batches of kale pesto, which is more than enough to convince me that basil is not the only pesto-worthy vegetable. The pale-green sauce is substantial from the kale, creamy and tangy from the goat cheese, and has just enough of a zip from the garlic and shallots to make the whole thing pop. I've been putting it over pasta and using it as a dip for bread and crackers. I'm sure it would also make a great base layer for a fancy crostini. 

Kale pesto
Adapted from 101 cookbooks

Curly kale is what you would typically find in supermarkets and would work well in this recipe. I've also used Siberian and Red Russian kale with success. I'm sure Laciano would also be delicious, but it would probably need a few extra seconds of cooking time.

4 cloves of peeled garlic
4 small peeled
1 bunch of kale (see above note), stemmed and torn into small-ish pieces
1/3 cup olive oil
2oz goat cheese
lemon juice to taste (I used half a lemon) 

In a large pot, bring salted water to boil. Add the garlic and shallots and boil for 2 minutes. Then add in the kale to boil for an additional 10-15 seconds. Quickly transfer everything from the water to a food processor along with the olive oil and goat cheese. Puree until smooth. Thin out the pesto with the hot water if needed. Add lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste.

Serve over pasta as a sauce or with crackers as a dip.

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