Kale Pesto with a twist

Kale Pesto with a spin

Growing up, like many, I wasn’t big fan of leafy vegetables.  I used to tell my mom that leafy vegetables are food for four-legged animals like cows, goats, etc. and clearly since I am not one of those four-legged animals, I shouldn’t have to eat them.  She off course didn’t pay much attention and continued offering leafy greens.  Though I’ve come a long way from the four-legged animal thought, I do not necessarily explore too much of leafy vegetables outside of what I grew up with.  Kale is one of them I didn’t know about until I moved to USA.

Kale Pesto with a spin

I had tried Kale here and there but never cooked it at home.  However, I keep hearing that Kale is “the new beef”, “the queen of greens” and “a nutritional powerhouse.”  How it is low in calorie but high in fiber, iron, vitamin A, C, K, blah, blah, blah….  After hearing so much, I had to give it a try.  Once, I brought it home, I didn’t know what to do with it, so I tried one of my mom’s tricks.


One of my mom’s trick to feed us vegetables was to mash it with herbs which we call bhorta(more on this later) in Bangladesh.  I continue to follow that trail if I am not sure what to do with a vegetable.  BUT wait, I have never heard of a bhorta made of leafy greens, bhortas are usually made of chunky vegetables and starch like pumpkin, green beans, eggplant, potato, etc.  Now what?


Kale Pesto with a spin

Well, partially inspired by the same road, this Kale pesto is created in my humble kitchen and the whole family loves it.  Though the traditional pesto consists of pine nuts, garlic, basil, olive oil and Parmesan cheese; modern pesto commonly contains sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red bell peppers, cashews, etc.  Now, I have a pesto that has nutrient rich, antioxidant filled Kale.  To add a little more spin to it, I went ahead and added toasted sesame, pistachio and cumin.  Yumm!!


We’ve had it as a spread for bruschetta and with pasta off course and the pesto tasted great both ways.  I have yet to try it on a soup or as a base for pizza, but I know those are also some great options to use this pesto.  Can you tell my family loves Italian food?

I am submitting this pesto recipe to Junglefrog Cooking’s Photography Challenge #1  – 2013 hosted by Simone, to the “Flavors of Series 4 around Europe” by simply.food which is hosted by Divya of Divya’s Culinary Journey and to Hearth & Soul Hop at Savoring Today.



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    • says

      The ingredients I used are different than a traditional pesto. I used pistachio instead of pine nuts and added sesame, cumin, paprika which gives a it a different flavor than the original version.

  1. says

    What a wonderful and unique pesto recipe featuring kale. I love this leafy green and I think I’m one of the weird kids (or as you said, a 4 legged animal, LOL) who love vegetables since I was young. 😛 I love all kinds of pesto, can’t wait to try your recipe.

  2. says

    What a brilliant idea to make pesto with kale! Being Dutch kale is a vegetable used in abundance here but mostly in a mashed with potato form, which I hated growing up ( but love now) but I never really do anything else with kale, so this is a fabulous idea! Thanks so much for joining in the homemade challenge this month!

  3. says

    You hit the right person with this dish for MUNCHING Mondays!! I adore kale and the thought of integrating it into pesto is a clear home run!!! Thank you so much and hope to see you next week!!!! Warmest, Nic