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Kale Basil Pistachio Garlic Scape Pesto Recipe

by Jeanette on July 21, 2014 · 16 Comments
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This Kale Basil Pistachio Garlic Scape Pesto is a great way to enjoy in-season farmer’s market produce.

Kale Garlic Scape Basil Pesto © Jeanette's Healthy Living

During the summer, one of my favorite past times is going to our local farmer’s market on Saturdays. Now that we’re in the thick of summer, the variety of produce is expanding. Sometimes I’m lucky enough to get my hands on a bunch of garlic scapes so I can make Garlic Scape Paste, which I store in my refrigerator for anything I can think of, such as this Kale Basil Pistachio Garlic Scape Pesto.

Although traditional pesto is made with basil, I’ve found almost any leafy green vegetable works well in combination with basil – whether it’s kale, Swiss chard or beet greens. Garlic Scape Paste makes a great alternative to garlic, and pistachios are a nice change from pine nuts.

Pasta with Kale Garlic Scape Basil Pesto © Jeanette's Healthy Living

Stir a few spoonfuls of this summer pesto into a bowl of hot pasta or cold pasta salad (I add fresh tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese and sometimes leftover grilled chicken), thin out with olive oil and drizzle over a fresh tomato mozzarella cheese platter, use it as a sandwich spread, stir a little into some hummus, or serve with grilled chicken or fish.

Kale Basil Garlic Scape Pistachio Pesto © Jeanette's Healthy Living

Kale Basil Pistachio Garlic Scape Pesto
  • 1 bunch kale, thick stems removed, torn into pieces
  • 1 bunch basil, stems removed
  • 3 tablespoons Garlic Scape Paste
  • ⅓ cup toasted pistachios
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Blanch kale in boiling water for one minute; rinse with cold water, drain and squeeze dry. Place kale, basil, Garlic Scape Pesto and pistachios in food processor bowl; turn processor on and add olive oil until thick paste forms. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

More Kale Pesto Recipes:

Kale Basil Hazelnut Pesto
Kale Basil Mint Parsley Pesto
Kale Artichoke Pumpkin Seed Pesto
Kale Basil Pesto
Kale Pesto, Cooking Light

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  1. This looks so healthy and delicious!

  2. Love it!!! The pistachios sound fabulous too. Now if I can get my hands on some garlic scapes, I’ll be good to go!

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Garlic scapes are hard to find, so whenever I spot them, I grab a bunch. Fresh garlic can be used instead.

  3. The idea to stir some of this gorgeous and flavorful Kale Basil Pistachio Garlic Scape Pesto into hummus sounds heavenly! Thanks for sharing this one!

  4. Love using kale in pesto and this one sounds great!

  5. I’ve “seen” kale used in pesto but I haven’t tasted it yet. This looks so delicious!!! I want to make pasta and sandwich with this pesto. Healthy and yummy – a total winner!

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Thanks Nami – we love pesto in all forms, especially during the summer. It goes with so many foods and it’s a great way to get my kids to eat more kale.

  6. I live in Ecuador and I’m not sure how much kale or basil are in a bunch. I go out and pick it or get what the fresh food market considers to be a bunch. The kale tends to be as much as I can wrap both hands around when it’s pressed tightly together. The basil can be anywhere from 1/2 to 2 cups mashed down fairly well. Could you give me a guestimate of how much you think would be good? Thanks so much! This sounds amazing and I can’t wait to try it.

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Cynthia, this isn’t a precise recipe – I use roughly 1.5x more kale than basil in this recipe. Add just enough olive oil to make a thick paste and a few cloves of garlic if you don’t have garlic scapes. Just a little salt and pepper and you should be good to go.

  7. i love pesto and would happily eat it by the bushel… and what a brilliant ingredient list. great to way use up farmer’s market booty and sneak in some extra nutrients too!

  8. Kale in pesto sounds so good and combining it with garlic scape is such a great idea! I love that you used toasted pistachios too. Looks so fresh and healthy!

  9. So many wonderful flavors in this pesto!

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