Kale Basil Pesto is a healthy, delicious way to enjoy kale. Serve with pasta, in sandwiches or stir into soups.
I’ve been getting lots of kale in my CSA Box lately and trying to figure out what to make with it. Although I love kale, my kids are not huge fans. But…they love Pesto! So, I decided to try making Kale Basil Pesto tucking in some basil so it would have a familiar taste. After all, kale is one of the most nutritious vegetables and I wouldn’t want my kids to miss out.
I’ve made Kale Pesto several times already this summer, and have even thrown in some broccoli stems and beet greens on occasion. The trick is to blanch the greens ever so slightly just to get the chalky taste out. I did this with Swiss chard and it worked wonders.
I’ve also made pesto with Collard Greens, another dark leafy green, which is often misunderstood. Many recipes cook this leafy green vegetable to death. When I used collard greens to make pesto, I cooked it for about 15 minutes until it was nice and tender, then blended it with basil, garlic and olive oil.
I used the entire batch of this Kale Basil Pesto up on sandwiches one day, and on pasta another time. My kids thought it was regular pesto and loved it.
Recently, I made dinner for a family through our church’s Angel Meals outreach program and made this pasta dish (using whole grain pasta) with pesto made with basil, kale, broccoli leaves, and beet greens (stems and veins removed), grilled chicken breast, steamed broccoli and pan roasted potatoes.
Another day, I slipped in some of this Kale Basil Pesto into my boys’ lunch, spreading a thick layer on bread before making these Tomato Caprese Panini’s.
This week, a group of bloggers is featuring Kale as a Power Food. Although some of you might never have tried kale before, or might not like it, it is definitely worth reconsidering. Kale belongs to the Brassica family, which includes cabbage, collards, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.
Kale is one of the healthiest vegetables – not only is it high in fiber, but it is exceptionally high in vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, and manganese, and high in copper, calcium, vitamin B6 and potassium. One cup of cooked kale provides 1327% Daily Value of vitamin K. Vitamin K, which is also found in parsley, spinach, and collard greens, helps reduce the risk of developing cancer.
Kale is high in antioxidant nutrients (carotenoids and flavonoids), anti-inflammatory nutrients, and anti-cancer nutrients in the form of glucosinolates. Eating kale and other cruciferous vegetables may help prevent certain cancers, including bladder cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, ovarian cancer, and prostate cancer.
If you’ve never tried Kale, please reconsider. The health benefits make such a strong argument that you should eat Kale. This Kale Pesto is one of the easiest ways I’ve found to get my kids and my husband to eat healthy green vegetables without even knowing it ;).
Kale Basil Pesto (and other greens)
- 1 bunch kale leaves only, ribs and stems removed
- 2 cups basil leaves
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Cut kale leaves roughly into 1 inch pieces. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add kale leaves and cook 30 seconds until just wilted. Rinse under cold water and squeeze out all the liquid. Place kale, basil and garlic in a food processor bowl. Process until finely chopped. Gradually add olive oil through feeder tube and continue processing until pesto is smooth.
This is a great way to get kids to eat green vegetables. They'll never know the difference. Use it in place of pesto as a sandwich spread, on bruschetta, and as a pasta sauce.
Check out what these other bloggers have cooked up for this week: (If you’re interested in joining our group, contact Mireya from My Healthy Eating Habits.
Alyce – More Time at the Table
Ansh – Spice Roots,
Casey – Bookcase Foodie
Jill – Saucy Cooks
Martha – Simple-Nourished-Living
Mireya – My Healthy Eating Habits
Sarah – Everything in the Kitchen Sink
Bambi – Adobo Down Under
More Pesto Recipes:
Swiss Chard Cilantro Garlic Scape Pesto
Swiss Chard Garlic Scape Pesto
Basil Spinach Pesto
Sun-dried Tomato Pesto
Kale Arugula Pesto, In Erika’s Kitchen
Kale Almond Pesto, Food Loves Writing
Dandelion Pesto, David Lebovitz
Pasta with Kale Pesto, Shrimp and Tomato, The Perfect Pantry
Basil, Walnut and Kale Pesto, Clean Green Simple
Kale Pesto, Pamela Salzman & Recipes