We enjoy a lot of fresh greens in our CSA Shares, especially this time of year! Steamed or sautéed greens make a great side dish to almost any meal, and our prevalent on our table. Greens are also surprisingly versatile, and this pesto is a summer staple. Any greens can be used here, swiss chard, kale, or collards. I used pumpkin seeds for this batch, but any nut or seed will work. Experiment with what you have in your CSA share and pantry. Let us know what you come up with! Start by cleaning the kale, then boil for just a minute, and transfer the cooked kale to a bowl of ice water.
When the kale is cool, gather it all together in your hands and squeeze out as much water as you can. Wrap the mass in paper towels and continue to squeeze out the water until the kale is dry. You’ll be surprised how much the kale has cooked down at this point.
When the kale is ready dry toast the pumpkin seeds in a skillet over medium heat. Don’t skip this step, the combination of toasted nuts and sharp cheese adds a lot of flavor.
When the seeds are toasted and the kale is ready, start preparing the pesto by mincing the garlic in the processor and then adding the seeds and cheese. Pulse together.
Add the kale (break it up a little when you add it) then turn on the processor and stream in the oil while mixing. When the pesto is combined add lemon (start with 1/2 a lemon, then taste and adjust) and the salt. Mix together. Pesto will keep in the refrigerator for about 5 days. Toss with pasta, spread over salmon, eat on crackers, or use as a pizza topping. Pesto also freezes well.
1 bunch kale, stems removed, chopped into bite size pieces
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic
juice from 1/2 a lemon
1 tsp sea salt
Blanch the kale. Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Boil kale for one minute then transfer to a bowl of ice water. When kale is cool, use your hands to squeeze as much water from the kale as you can. Wrap the kale in paper towels and squeeze again until the kale is as dry as you can get it.
Use a food processor to mince garlic. When garlic is minced add cheese and seeds to the processor. Pulse together. Add kale to the processor, then stream oil in while processing. Add lemon and salt, and pulse once more. Taste and adjust salt and lemon if necessary.