Kale has a bit of a bitter flavor, but the garlic masks its bitterness to create a mild pesto that is tasty on the palate. Kale can also be quite dry, making it a bit unpalatable to eat raw. But if you quickly blanch the leaves, it takes away its bitter taste, and softens the leaves perfectly!
Kale Pesto Pasta
- 1 bunch kale
- 1/3 cup pine nuts toasted (or pecans or walnuts)
- 2 cloves garlic or 4-6 roasted* cloves
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- Zest from 1 lemon and juice to taste
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Salt to taste
- Cook your favorite GF pasta until al dente, reserving 1 cup of pasta water. Drain, rinse, and return to pot.
- Remove center stem from kale, and coarsely chop. Add half of kale to food processor and pulse until reduced. Or, for a milder and more tender tasting pesto, blanch the chopped kale in a pot of boiling water: add leaves to the boiling water, stir the leaves around, making sure they are submerged, and allow to blanch for no more than 20 seconds. Remove and rinse in ice cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain well. Set aside to cool, then add to food processor.
- Once kale is finely chopped in the food processor, add nuts, garlic, cheese, and lemon zest, pulsing until finely chopped. With machine running, slowly pour in oil until you get the consistency you want.
- Season to taste with salt and lemon juice if desired.
- Add pesto (as much as you like - freeze the rest to use later) to pot, and toss with pasta. Add 1/3 cup of reserved pasta water and stir until combined and a sauce is created. Add more water if desired until you reach the desired consistency.