Kale and Walnut Pesto

Kale and Walnut Pesto | Fig & Honey

Today I walked into my local organic supermarket and saw Kale! I nearly jumped up and down with joy and excitement and my heart definitely skipped a beat.  I managed to contain myself, but inside my heart was doing a little happy dance!

You see, the supermarkets here in Germany are quite a bit different to those in England and the US. I’ve been spoilt with selection over the years in the US and despite the huge environmental and nutritional cost of providing all sorts of fruit and veg year round, I’ve kinda gotten used to it. Until I moved here to Germany that is.

For the most part you can just about find everything you need, but it’s the produce section that sometimes frustrates me. Though many fruits and vegetables are shipped from all over the world – grapefruits from mexico, bananas from peru, green beans from kenya, others only appear on a seasonal basis. It’s a good thing really since most of the seasonal produce is grown regionally making the farm to table distance much shorter which is great for the earth and for the nutritional value of the food. But sometimes, just sometimes, I get a bit down when I see the bloggers of the world enjoying their kale salads, green smoothies and yummy soups.

Kale and Walnut Pesto | Fig & HoneySo when I saw that it was Kale season, I was so excited! Even though it means the cold weather is setting in, it makes me super excited to find ways to incorporate this healthy green into our diets for the next four months! To start with -a fresh and bright kale pesto. Perfect for a break from the heavy thanksgiving leftovers (which we only just finished today).

Pesto is perfect this time of the year since it keeps for awhile in the fridge and can make any dinner special very quickly. After all the running around all the way up to the December holidays, its nice to have a quick and healthy dinner option around. Some ways that I’m looking forward to trying this with are:

  • roasted tomato soup with a dollop of pesto & grilled mozzarella
  • whole wheat pasta tossed in pesto sauce
  • crostinis with pesto & shaved parmesan
  • pesto, sundried tomato and goats cheese palmiers
  • spread on crusty bread with some english cheddar and roasted peppers to make a perfect sandwich

The possibilities are endless. Make a batch and experiment all week!

Kale and Walnut Pesto | Fig & Honey

Kale and Almond Pesto

makes about 1 cup

  • 2 cups kale, leaves and stems separated
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • handful of basil – about 6-8 leaves
  • 1/8 cup parmigiano reggiano
  • 1/8 cup olive oil

Since kales a bit hearty, its best to blanch the leaves and stems before blitzing in the food processor. So to start, heat about 4 -5 cups of water in a small saucepan to boiling. While the water is heating, chop the kale leaves and stems roughly.  Get a bowl of cold water ready next to the cooker. Once the water is boiled, throw in the leaves for about 30 seconds or so. Remove with a slotted spoon and place into the cold water promptly to stop the cooking. Next add in the stems and cook for about 2-3 minutes until they are just soft. Also remove and place in the cold water.

Next, add the kale, lemon zest, lemon juice, walnuts, garlic, basil and parmigiano reggiano into a food processor. Pulse everything a few times to get everything chopped up and mixed together. Then turn it on and drizzle the olive oil in slowly until all is finely chopped. You can add more olive oil if you like a runnier pesto or keep it chunky.

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