I love kale. I like it in soups, braised, or sautéed with some garlic and olive oil, I even add it to my cauliflower gratin, but my favorite way to eat kale is raw. I know what you’re thinking – no one really likes the taste of raw kale. It’s the healthy gimmick green that goes into smoothies, right? Wrong! Kale does have a very distinct, strong flavor that many people don’t go for, but that flavor is so versatile that there are hundreds of ways to tailor it to fit your individual tastes, and the flavor changes depending on how you cook it. If you think you don’t like kale, don’t give up on it quite yet. You probably just haven’t had it prepared the right way for you yet.
I put kale in a lot of stuff, but I’m pretty sure this is the way my husband prefers it. He immediately asked if he could eat the portion I had plated for pictures when I was through with my little photo shoot. So, I think that speaks for itself.
Pesto is an easy favorite. It’s always a little bit sweet and luxurious tasting, and it is extremely simple to make. This pesto would be perfect to make vegan by simply leaving out the cheese. In fact, I normally don’t make it with cheese, but I had some parm left over from another night, so I threw it in. Raw kale pesto tastes extremely fresh and is so full of flavor that you won’t believe how good it is for you. I always put it on whole wheat pasta because I like that extra element of “good for you” in there, but you can use any pasta that you prefer. This pesto comes together in less time than it takes to boil the pasta, so this is really one of the ultimate healthy, quick dinners. I’m sending the leftovers with my husband for lunch this week, and he’s thrilled.
Ingredients // Serves 4
1 bunch of kale
1 clove garlic
juice from 1 lemon
½ cup shredded Parmesan, Pecorino, Romano…
½ cup good olive oil
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
Whole wheat penne or pasta of choice
Yellow grape tomatoes (optional)
Put water on to boil and cook pasta according to package directions.
Take the stalks out of the kale and roughly chop. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until the mixture is mostly smooth.
When pasta is al dente, set aside about a cup of the pasta water and then drain the pasta, but do not rinse. Return the pasta to the pot and add the pesto. Stir until the pasta is well coated and the pesto has warmed. If the pesto needs to be loosened, you can add a little pasta water at a time until it is the consistency that you want. Plate and garnish with yellow grape tomatoes.