Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Renew the Menu: Kale Pesto

I had all great intentions of making my own gnocchi to go with this Kale Pesto but as is life with kids the afternoon got away from me and chaos ensued. So with hungry screaming kids in my ear I managed to make the kale pesto but served it with Oreccheitte ('little ear') pasta instead.
Surprise, surprise...the kids devoured it! When I served it up I asked husband what he thought my chances were of them actually eating it, his response, "Slim to none". So hoping to create some hype around the dish husband announced to the kids that the green speckled pasta was "Froggy Pasta". Now I know he likes to think this is why they gobbled it up, but I think it was a mix of hunger and luck! Either way I was thrilled that they ate it all; Master Q went through nearly 3 bowls of it!
My local supermarket was out of kale bunches when I went shopping but I spied a ready washed bag of Baby Kale and used this in the recipe instead. It was much quicker and I suspect produced a milder pesto than the full grown kale leaves would have, perfect for kids.
This pesto has some great ingredients; olive oil, walnuts and of course the popular superfood, kale. Packed with iron, folate, protein, fibre, vitamin C and anti-oxidants, makes you feel less guilty for serving it with white pasta!
Speaking of pasta Oreccheitte was a great choice for this recipe, holding the pesto well and making it easy for the kids to eat with a fork (but mostly with their hands!), other pastas such as elbow pasta or farfalle would work well too.
My Kale Pesto recipe is adapted from a recent cookbook read, Fifty Shades of Kale. Who knows whether I can repeat this miracle and get them to eat it again, but I will definitely be giving it a go, it was a hit all round!
Kale Pesto
(Makes enough to serve 6)
  • 2 cups packed torn kale leaves, stems removed (or I used about half a 170g bag of washed baby kale leaves)
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
1. Pack kale leaves, basil leaves and salt in food processor, combine until finely chopped.
2. With processor on, drizzle in olive oil
3. Add walnuts, garlic and process again, making sure to scrape down sides
4. Add parmesan and pulse to combine
5. Add lemon juice, pulse to combine, adjust seasoning to taste
6. Cook pasta according to instructions, mix in pesto and serve

Linking up again with Little Wolff's Meatless Monday Recipes!

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