This deliciously healthy Kale Basil Mint Parsley Pesto is great on sandwiches, quesadillas, and pizzas, or tossed with pasta (hot or cold). Versatile and nutritious, I use it on everything I can think of during the summer.
For the past three summers, I’ve purchased a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share, which means I get a box of fresh produce from a local farm each week. I never know what vegetables I’m going to get or how much because it’s based on the yield from the farm. It’s like getting a surprise present every week.
The one complaint I often hear about belonging to a CSA is that you can end up with hoards of vegetables you either don’t like or don’t know how to use, such as kale, Swiss chard, radishes or turnips. I have to say my least favorite vegetables are probably radishes and turnips. There are just so many of those that I can eat since the kids don’t like them.
I get lots of leafy greens in my CSA Box, and my go-to recipe for using these up along with fresh herbs throughout the summer is pesto. I’ve made pesto with a variety of leafy greens, including spinach, Swiss chard, kale and beet greens, and love the fact that I can sneak these nutritious leafy green vegetables into so many different foods for my kids. They’re not fond of kale, but I’ve found when I mix it in with pesto, they can’t even tell.
This pesto was born the other day when I was going through all the produce I needed to use up before my next CSA Box pickup – kale, basil, mint, and parsley. Virtually any herbs are good in pesto – I’ve used cilantro before too.
The other day, I made a Cool Asian Noodle Salad using this pesto and a soy sesame dressing (recipe to come). It was a nice twist to the typical pesto pasta salad. And, just this past weekend, I simply tossed some hot pasta with this Kale Basil Mint Parsley Pesto, along with some chopped Heirloom tomatoes and Romano cheese. The boys loved it!
- 1 bunch kale, leaves only, stalks and veins trimmed
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup parsley leaves
- 1 cup mint leaves
- 6 garlic cloves
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- Bring large pot of water to boil; add kale leaves and blanch until just wilted, about 30-45 seconds. Immediately drain and rinse with cold water; squeeze dry.
- Place kale, basil, parsley, mint, and garlic in food processor; process until almost smooth; gradually add olive oil and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.