Herby Kale Pesto

Pesto is a summer staple around these parts. As soon as the basil blows up, I’m out there cutting it and whipping up a batch of pesto for pasta, chicken, toast, to spread on sandwiches…you name it, I’ll try to put pesto on it.
kale pesto

Since we became farmshare subscribers, I’ve never have had so much kale in my house. I mean, I like kale as much as the next wanna-be-hipster-30-something gal, but I don’t know what to do with a new bunch of it each week. I’ve started making pesto with kale as the staple, and I really like it. This batch is mixed with chives and parsley, too, which adds nice balance. Not too kale-y, if ya know what I mean.
kale pesto pasta w/ chicken

One of my favorite pesto uses, as pictured here, is to boil some pasta, toss with the pesto and add sliced tomatoes, parmesan and basil. I also added some chicken breast tenders on top for protein, otherwise Matt would be hungry again an hour after dinner.

for the pesto, you will need:
1 bunch kale, destemmed, torn into pieces & blanched
1 cup parsley
1 large handful chives, roughly chopped
1/3 cup walnuts, toasted and cooled
3 cloves garlic
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup cold water
lemon juice
salt & pepper

Start by boiling a pot of salted water and tossing in the kale for 1 minute. Immediately remove and place in a large bowl of ice water to cool.

Combine kale, parsley and chives in a food processor. Pulse until roughly chopped and combined. Add in walnuts, garlic and parmesan and pulse until coarsely chopped. Turn on the processor and slowly drizzle in the oil and process to a coarse puree. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and process again for another 10 seconds. Add in the water as you did the oil. Season with salt and pepper and add in the lemon juice. Process to combine, about 10 seconds more. Store in a jar or container with a layer of oil on top in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze in small batches (I use ice cube trays!) for up to 6 months.

for the chicken, you will need:
1 chicken breast, cut into
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup pesto
salt & pepper

Heat a skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. While pan is heating, season chicken with salt and pepper and slather with the pesto. When the pan is hot, place the chicken in the pan and cook for 4 minutes, until browned. Flip chicken over and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, until both sides are browned and chicken is cooked through. Serve atop or next to pasta tossed in the pesto.

Such an easy weeknight dinner, particularly if the pesto is already made!

What is your favorite pesto?! Do share!

serves: 2
time: 15 for the pesto + 20 for the chicken & pasta

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