Kale & Walnut Pesto

You can make this versatile recipe ahead of time and use it over a few days. For a super quick midweek dinner, just add pasta. Try it on sandwiches, burgers, and quessadillas, or add some to side dishes like potatoes, grains, and lentils.


  • small bunch of kale (4-6 leaves, remove the thick part of the stems*)
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 1/2 to 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (or more for a smoother pesto)
  • juice & zest of one lemon
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • optional: grated parmesan or pecorino cheese
  • Note: you can use all of the kale stems in your pesto, you will just have to boil them longer (separately) than the leaves. About 20 minutes, or until tender.


Wash kale under hot water.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice and water. Blanch kale for about 30 seconds, remove and place in the ice bath to stop the cooking process. Dry the kale a bit, squeeze out some of excess water and set on a towel for a few minutes more. Blend everything together in a food processor. Pulse to create a chunky pesto, blend longer to create a smoother one. Taste and adjust, adding more salt, pepper, lemon, olive oil, as necessary.

Source: Recipe by Chef Jason Neroni of Superba Snack Bar in Venice, Calif. via radio chef Evan Kleiman of Good Food.