Inspired by The Hop’s Kale and Almond Pesto, we made a walnut version for our Sausage with Creamy Polenta and Kale Walnut Pesto. Even if kale is not your favorite thing, this is a good way to try it because it’s so good for you, but also deliciously cheesy/nutty. It would definitely be great on pasta or on anything that basil pesto is good with.
Kale and Walnut Pesto
- 1 medium bunch curly or lacinato kale, center ribs and stems removed
- Kosher salt
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- ¼ cup grated pecorino romano or parmesan
- ½ cup walnuts, toasted
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Salt and pepper
- After you remove the ribs and stems, chop the kale up roughly. Blanch kale in a large pot of boiling salted water, about 30 seconds. Drain and rinse with cold water to cool (or dunk in a bath of icy water). Spin in a salad spinner or wring dry in a clean kitchen towel.
- In a food processor, add garlic and give it a whir to mince it more finely. Add kale and walnuts and pulse until coarsely chopped. With motor running, add oil in a steady stream and process to a coarse purée. Add lemon juice, pecorino and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Pecorino is a sheep’s milk cheese and tends to be a little stronger and saltier than parmesan, which is made from cow’s milk.
- Use good oil for this since it doesn’t get cooked.
- If you want to use less oil, you could substitute a little bit of water to get to the right consistency.