Our kale plants are still just little baby seedlings, but thankfully there’s a weekend market not far from here where I can pick up beautiful bunches of organic kale for only a few dollars. Kye is a little obsessed with the stuff and as I’m washing it he will often sneak up behind me and steal and few stems to munch on. The green juice running down his chin kinda gives it away…
We get through a good few bunches a week, using it in salads, curries and stir-frys, or to make the kids favourite salt and vinegar kale chips. But when I’ve exhausted all my usual ideas and there’s still too much left to eat before it goes yuk, one needs to come up with new ideas that use up lots of kale, quick smart… hello pesto.
A whole bunch of kale can quickly be turned into a gorgeously green pesto, flecked with toasted pumpkin (pepita) seeds, a touch of coriander (cilantro) and chilli if you so desire. If I’m making it knowing the kids will be eating it I leave these out, but if I’m being greedy… I put them in, that way only I get to eat it. Naughty mum, I know.
As with any pesto this is wonderful stirred through cooked pasta, smeared onto toast, swirled through a bowlful of steaming hot soup or vegetable stew, or thinned down with a little extra lemon juice and olive oil and used as a wonderful dressing.
kale and pumpkin seed pesto
I like to use the leaves and stalks of coriander in my pesto, just chop up the stalks a little. By all means, use just the leaves if preferred. I’ve only come across white miso that’s made with rice, but some miso pastes are fermented with wheat or barley, so double-check the ingredients if you are gluten-free.
makes 2 cups
1 bunch of kale (approx 250-300g), washed well, spun dry and hard stems removed
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 cup (125g) lightly toasted pumpkin (pepita) seeds
1 cup of loosely packed coriander (cilantro) leaves and stalks, chopped
1-2 green chillies, seeded and roughly chopped, optional
3/4 cup (185ml) extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
1 tablespoon white miso (gluten-free)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Place kale, garlic, pumpkin seeds, coriander and green chillies, if using, into a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped, you may need to stop it occasionally to scrape down the sides or move things around a little to get it all going. With the motor still running, drizzle in the olive oil in a steady stream. Lastly add the lemon juice and miso, give it one final whiz, taste and season with sea salt and black pepper. If not using straight away pack into a clean glass jar, cover with a thin film of olive oil and store in the fridge for up to 1 week.