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Kale Basil Hazelnut Pesto Recipe

by Jeanette on June 11, 2014 · 6 Comments
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This Kale Basil Hazelnut Pesto is a versatile condiment that doubles as a way to get extra leafy green vegetables into everyday meals.
Kale Basil Hazelnut Pesto  © Jeanette's Healthy Living
There’s something special about the first farmer’s market pesto of the season. I always look forward to the opening of our farmer’s market, and each week, eagerly anticipate the arrival of all the fresh produce, including basil, tomatoes, Swiss chard and kale. This past weekend, I picked up some fresh basil, kale and Swiss chard and packed all of these fresh veggies and herbs into one meal.

Kale Basil Hazelnut Pesto © Jeanette's Healthy Living


Pesto is a great foil for sneaking in green leafy vegetables like kale and Swiss chard. I’ve even used beet greens and my kids never knew. Today’s pesto recipe includes toasted hazelnuts that I found at Costco’s, but you could use walnuts, pine nuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or just about any nuts or seeds.

Kale Basil Hazelnut Pesto  © Jeanette's Healthy Living

This Kale Basil Hazelnut Pesto would be great with pasta (hot or cold), but it would also be wonderful served on top of grilled chicken, salmon, or dolloped on top of a fresh tomato mozzarella salad. There are so many possibilities. Keep a jar of fresh pesto in your refrigerator all summer long and let me know what you use it on.

Kale Basil Hazelnut Pesto
Recipe type: Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 bunch basil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup toasted hazelnuts
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Strip kale leaves off stems and wash well. Bring pot of water to a boil and blanch kale leaves for 30 seconds; remove to a bowl of cold water to cool down. Squeeze kale dry with hands. Place kale, basil, garlic and hazelnuts in food processor. Process, adding oil through feeder tube, until mixture is finely ground. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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  1. I love the extra nutrition from the kale packed into this pesto! Yay for summer being on the horizon!!

  2. This pesto looks amazing Jeanette! Perfect for sneaking in extra veggies :) I love the kale and toasted hazelnuts in here!

  3. I’ve been sneaking kale into my smoothies and guacamole lately. Kale in pesto is such a great idea!

  4. yum!!! I love pesto with kale in it, I usually make mine with almonds but OMG hazelnuts are just brilliant. I can’t wait to try it this way. xo

  5. Thanks you all – I’m always looking to sneak some extra veggies in for my family, and pesto is one of the easiest ways to get them to eat kale 😉

  6. I love that you used kale. I love finding fun new ways to enjoy delicious kale! Looks fabulous, Hugs, Terra

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