Kale Almond Pesto

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Hellllooo!  I am calling out to you from the deep end of summer.  I am treading the waters like a freaking pro except for when I forget to reapply sunblock.  Then I am wondering how I even became an adult.

But you guys, I have been totally quiet around here not because I want to be but because when the sun is shining and the breeze is warm….I can not for the life of me stay indoors.  I am out.  Sometimes with sunblock.

I am checking in real quick here before I go catch some fireflies and place them in a mason jar for safe keeping because the folks at Nuts.com caught me on a rainy day and started talking almonds with me.  Do they know me or what?  I am such an almond lover.

Mid-morning and then again mid-afternoon, nothing closes that hunger gap like a handful of almonds.  I am a roasted and salted fan – I like a good crunch and a sucker for salty snacks.  Sneak in a few apple slices and is there a more perfect sweet/salty snack on the planet?    Plus, it is one of healthiest, too!

It is crazy to think that a snack can be so darn satisfying while also lowering cholesterol ( high in monounsaturated fats) and protecting your innards with a boost of antioxidants (hello, Vitamin E!).  And such a quick snack, too!  Ideal for when there is only ten seconds between eating your own arm off and finding sustenance.

I am not here to show you how to divide them into baggies and keep them in drawers and purses and cupboards for when the hunger strikes – nah, you guys are awesome and are probably already doing this.  High – five, your heart loves you!   I am here to talk about how we can also incorporate these gems into our every day cooking and baking.

Sneaking roasted sliced almonds into quick breads, muffins,  and cookies seems like a no brainer.  Or adding a heaping handful to your crumb topping of your berry crisp is second nature.  Or my favorite, adding almonds to  shortbread crusts for quick jam tarts for late summer desserts.  They add a pleasant crunch and a sweet nuttiness that can only enhance the flavor of your baked good.

Cooking with almonds is where we are today with a quick pesto that can be slathered on a toasted baguette, tossed with cooked pasta, or stirred into soft scrambled eggs.  Versatility in the kitchen is key.  Plus, we get to use some of that leafy green kale that keeps popping up in our CSA bags every week.  Woohoo vitamin K!

Kale Almond Pesto
 
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch kale (about 4-6 cups roughly chopped), washed and de-stemmed.
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, peeled.
  • ½ cup roasted almonds plus extra for topping ( I used sliced because that is what I had, use whole if you have them)
  • ½ -3/4 cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese, plus extra for topping
  • salt
  • pepper
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add chopped kale and cook for about 10 minutes until soft. With a slotted spoon or a spider skimmer, transfer kale to the bowl of a food processor, shaking off as much water as possible.
  2. Add garlic cloves and almonds and pulse a few times until combined. Scrape down the edges with a rubber spatula.
  3. With food processor running on low, slowly drizzle in olive oil until you get the consistency that you prefer.
  4. Stir in parmesan cheese. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Slather on toasted baguette and sprinkle with additional roasted sliced almonds and parmesan cheese.
Notes
Store in fridge, tightly sealed. It can be frozen - upon thawing you may need to add an extra bit of olive oil to regain the consistency that you prefer.
When choosing kale, use what is available. I am dying to try this with lacianto kale (dinosaur) since it has a sweeter nuttier flavor - perfect with almonds.

 

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