I have only ever made basil pesto with pine nuts in the past, so I was a little skeptical about how this kale pesto with walnuts would turn out. I was so happy with the end result, though, and love this pesto variation!
It was also very simple to make, which is always nice. You first need about 2 cups of packed, coarsely chopped kale.
Add it to a pot of salted, boiling water and cook for about 5 minutes.
Toast your walnuts, but be careful not to burn them (like I almost did).
Combine the walnuts and kale with garlic, Parmesan, and olive oil in a food processor to make the pesto.
Resulting in the perfect amount for 12 ounces of pasta (or for anything else you would like).
I used this kind of pasta...
And serve it with roasted green beans!
2 cups tightly packed kale with stems discarded and leaves coarsely chopped
12 ounces pasta
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup olive oil
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the coarsely chopped kale and cook until tender for about 4-5 minutes. Transfer the kale with a slotted spoon to a colander and rinse with cold water. Add the pasta to the pot and cook in the kale water until al dente. Once done, drain the pasta, rinse with cold water and return to the pot.
Meanwhile, squeeze the kale to remove excess water. Place the kale, walnuts, garlic, and Parmesan in a food processor until almost smooth. Season with salt and pepper and add the lemon juice. While the food processor is running, slowly add the olive oil.
Add the pesto to the pasta and sprinkle with more Parmesan if desired.