Schools are back in full swing and it’s time for inventive sandwiches and fillings to pack in to our kids lunch boxes, right? In our house, we love kale pesto, tossed in chopped grilled chicken as a filler for whole grain croissants It’s just another sneaky way to add nutrition in to the families diet with absolutely no complaints. Lacinato Kale (also known as Black, Dinosaur or Tuscan Kale) is slightly sweeter than curly kale and it has a more delicate flavor. We prefer it as a substitute to basil because its more nutritious and it adds a more earthiness and substance to the pesto. The Dubliner Irish cheese, with it’s distinctive nutty parmesan taste, adds a depth of flavor and the pesto is brightened up with lemon. Supporting local, I use pecans in my pesto, but switching to pine nuts or walnuts works great too.
Those of you living in Atlanta please ark you calendars for Saturday September 26th for a taste of Ireland at Salud cooking schools at the Whole Foods Market at Avalon. We will be featuring this delicious pesto as part of my fall tea party menu.
Anyway, just try it for your family and I promise you will love it. So, here is the recipe!
- 1 medium bunch of Organic Lacinato kale (stems removed)
- 2 Tbsp water
- Freshly ground black pepper and salt
- 1 garlic clove (crushed)
- Zest of one lemon
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- ¼ cup finely grated Dubliner Irish cheese (finely grated)
- ¼ cup pecans (toasted and finely chopped)
- ½ cup olive oil (plus 1 Tbsp to sauté Kale)
How to make it
- In a large skillet sauté kale in 1 Tbsp of olive oil for 30 seconds and sprinkle over 2 Tbsp of water to wilt for 1 minute. Remove Kale from heat and set aside to keep its vibrant green color. (you can also boil the Kale for 1 minute in a large pot of boiling water to blanch to achieve the same results).
- In a food processor blend the kale, salt and pepper, garlic, Dubliner, lemon zest and juice. Add the toasted pecans and pulse for a couple of seconds (I like them to have a little texture). Finally, add the olive oil in a slow steady stream with the processor is still in motion.
- Use right away or store in an air tight container in the refrigerator.
Judith the Irish foodie