This pesto recipe is a nice alternative during the cooler months, once the summers bounty of basil has passed. Parsley and kale work very well together. They both have an earthy bitterness, but the parsley adds a welcomed element of brightness to the combination.
I like this pesto best on whole wheat pasta, so much so that I insist that you try it first on a whole grain pasta. The nutty flavor and sturdy texture of the whole wheat make an important contribution to the overall enjoyment of this dish. Of course quinoa, barley or rice pasta can be used by those avoiding wheat.
If you have been following my posts, then you know that I have stage 4 cancer. Any foods that are high in antioxidants, or have been shown to inhibit cancer growth go into my shopping cart. This recipe is full of cancer fighting properties.
Parsley Kale Pesto
1c. parsley leaves and tender stems roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic
1 bunch of kale with the tough stems removed
5 T. olive oil
1T. lemon juice
1/2 t. salt or to taste
a few good grinds of black pepper
1/2 lb. cooked pasta (don't forget to salt the water)
Unless you are used to a lot of manual effort while cooking, I would say to definitely use a food processor here.
While the pasta is cooking prepare the pesto.
Bring a couple of inches of salted (1/2t. salt ) water to a boil. Drop in the whole cloves of garlic and boil for about a minute, then fish it out with a slotted spoon. You can skip this step if you like. I do this to mellow the sharp bite of the raw garlic a bit. You should then chop up the garlic.
Roughly chop the kale and blanch it in the water (same as you used for the garlic) until softened. This takes a minute or two. Drain the kale well, pushing down on the leaves to squeeze out any excess water.
Put all the ingredients into the food processor (except the pasta of course), and pulse until you get a nice coarsely chopped pesto. Taste for salt, and add more oil if you like. Then toss it with the pasta.
A handful of roasted sunflower seeds on top would be a good addition here for both their crunchy texture and their nutty flavor.
I don't put cheese on mine, but a bit of parmesan would be nice, or you could do as my friend Jenna did this morning and add some grated goat gouda. We had this for breakfast this morning with a poached egg on top and a side of beets and salad greens. It was perfect.