Tomato Caprese Panini with Kale Pesto

Kale Basil Pesto (and other greens)

I've made different variations on this pesto depending on what greens I have on hand. In addition to kale, I have made it with Swiss chard, collard greens, broccoli leaves, and beet greens. Blanching green vegetables like kale, broccoli leaves, and beet greens ever so briefly removes the chalky taste. If you make it with collard greens (stems/veins removed), you'll need to cook it longer, approximately 15 minutes. This pesto will have a bit of a chew to it, so if you like a lighter pesto, add more basil.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 1 bunch kale leaves only, ribs and stems removed
  • 2 cups basil leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. 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.

Recipe Notes

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.