Kale Pesto

Deniz and I love kale.  It’s the perfect leafy green.  It’s so nutritious, mild (not bitter!), and holds up great in dishes.  We usually shred it and add it to whatever warm dish we’re eating to increase greens and fiber in our diet, particularly heavy or starchy dishes which helps to balance the taste.  This year we had a ton of kale from our garden, more than the normal amount we add to our dishes, and decided to make kale pesto.  We modified this recipe from Cookies and Kate to get it just to our taste.  It had a delicious, well balanced pesto taste, without a strong bitterness.  Tasted great on pasta!


  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 c packed kale leaves (about 1 small bunch)
  • 1 c packed basil leaves
  • ¾ c walnuts, toasted
  • 1½ T lemon juice (about 1½ lemons)
  • ¾ t salt
  • ¼ t pepper, ground
  • ¼ t red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1/3 c extra-virgin olive oil
  • ⅓ c grated Parmesan cheese


In a food processor, add the peeled garlic cloves and process until the garlic is minced. Add the kale, basil, toasted walnuts, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Turn on the food processor and drizzle in the oil. Process until the pesto reaches your desired consistency, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary. Taste and add more lemon, salt or pepper if necessary.

Serve on whatever you like, pasta, burgers, veggies, etc.  Mix in extra olive oll, if needed/desired.


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