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Friday, 5 September 2014

Fresh Kale & Basil Pesto - Nut Free!

Our organic veggies CSA (community supported agriculture) has been growing several varieties of kale for us this summer.  They also regularly have been providing us with fresh basil (in addition to the plants they gave us to plant at home at the start of the season). I just can't bring myself to like the kale chips so many rave about, but I find kale is great sauteed with some onion.  It mellows the flavor.  I have been using it like I would spinach.  I've used in quiche, mixed in with pasta sauce, pesto pasta salad, or as a topping for twice-baked potatoes.   One of my absolute favorite dishes we've been making this summer is pizza on the BBQ topped with pesto, fresh mozzarella and a few additional sauteed veggies thrown on top (generally red onion and a little zucchini).  I decided to try tweaking the spinach basil pesto I'd been making and use kale instead.  The best part is - no one noticed!  They loved it and just figured it was the same pesto they've been enjoying all summer! Best part is, it's nut-free, so you can eat it, mom! Enjoy!
Freshly made Kale & Basil Pesto

Fresh Kale & Basil Pesto - Nut Free!

Blend together in a food processor:
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped fresh Kale
3/4 cup coarsely chopped basil leaves
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 - 2 tsp dried basil (optional, but adds a little more emphasis on the basil flavor)
1 tsp dried oregano
1/3 cup grated romano cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp fresh lemon or lime juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 - 1 tsp ground pepper
1/3 - 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (adjust as desired, since it tends to depend on how you packed/measured your kale & basil leaves)

Store in the refrigerator 1 - 2 weeks - add a dollop of extra olive oil on top so it's fully coated on top. Or, freeze up to a month (mine never lasts longer than that).  Enjoy!

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