Oct 022016

Quick Kale & Walnut Pesto

If you’re a pesto lover, don’t overlook the earthy flavor of kale pesto. It’s a bit sharper tasting than Basil, but it also packs a more nutrient-rich punch.

You’ll whip it up in no time at all and it will keep for weeks in the tightly covered in the refrigerator.

We often, but don’t always, toast our walnuts for 10 minutes at 350°, tossing once. Yes, it adds one more pan, and one more step but to this quick recipe but it can add a welcome toasty tone to your pesto. That said, toasting the walnuts is not essential—feel free to skip it if you’re in a hurry or just not in the mood to turn on the oven.

Skill: Easy
Cost: $$$$
Nutrition: ♥♥♥♥
Skills: chopping, grating, processing
Garden Candy Basics - fundamental vegucation for everybody!


  • 1 bunch kale, center ribs and stems removed
  • 2 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted if you like (see comment in intro above)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (or more to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Pack all ingredients into a food processor fitted with a chopping blade.
  2. Process until a smooth paste.

That’s it. This pesto is great served over pasta as in this dish: Butternut Squash and Kale Pesto, spread onto bread, as a topping for poultry, or stirred into soups.

Fresh kale, parmesan, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and walnuts blended into pesto


Very excitable and prone to fits of glee, Christine cooks on a vintage 1950 General Electric double-oven stove, does not have a dishwasher unless you count the husband, and is guilty of posting cat cuteness on the interwebs. She photographs and blogs about food and other joyful topics from her home in Vermont.

Co-Author of Garden Candy Basics

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