The sun came out yesterday, and it seems, decided to stay for a while (the forecast is clear for at least another day). Insert multiple smiley face emoticons here! It's safe to say it's been a (very) welcome change and the views of the twinkling snow-capped mountains are particularly breathtaking. Craving the fresh air and the outdoors after work, I hurled myself outside to enjoy the remaining glorious daylight, the bustle of activity around the park, and the smiles and quips of the many who were of the same mind as me. Of course in my excitement, I under-dressed as it was still finger-numbingly cold (a total newbie move). But I didn't care.
What a perfect start to the week, and the perfect time to write another post about one of my all-time favourite green vegetables.
Are you with me?
Here it is, the most perfect pesto with a twist! This recipe can be made with or without the cheese (and I assure you) is stunning either way. It's almost entirely raw too.
Killer Kale Pesto:
- (1) cup pecan halves, raw
- (1/4) cup pumpkin seeds, freshly toasted
- (3/4) cup olive oil
- (1) cup green curly kale, chopped
- (1/2) cup fresh basil
- (1/4) cup fresh parsley
- (1) clove organic garlic
- (1) tbsp salt
- (5) tbsp fresh lemon juice
- (5) tbsp good quality grated parmesan cheese (optional)
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lay the pumpkin seeds on a flat tray and pop into the oven while it heats (my trick with dry roasting nuts - I put them in while the oven gradually reaches temperature, this keeps them roasting evenly and prevents that dreaded over roasting - ooooops!). Toast until fragrant and turning golden, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the other ingredients and add to the blender, starting with the pecans first. Once toasted, add the seeds right away to the blender while still warm - the heat from the warm seeds will assist in better blending and the result will be a much smoother blending process and slightly more delicious pesto.
Blend on high and move around with a spatula to get it going*. Blend all until you reach a thick well-blended consistency and there are no bits of kale left.
*Of course, you can also use a food processor for this, but alas, I do not use one!
Voila! Scrape with a spatula into a clean jar. This will keep refrigerated for a while in the fridge (at least a week or more). You can also freeze in small containers!
This seriously delicious pesto adds an exquisite touch to a boring old piece of toast, a flavorful topping for a cracker, and an even more delicious component to a polenta appetizer or pizza (like I made tonight with broccoli - double green hit - super yum!).
I'll share a few of my thoughts on polenta (and how to make a number of delicious dishes with it) in a later post, but for now, join me in an ode to freshness in the form of sunshine, fresh greens, fresh air, fresh inspiration, fresh finds, and best of all fresh ideas!
Welcome to all the new readers this week and a huge, giant thanks to all the wonderful people I have met along the way so far! I really, truly enjoy all of your comments, and appreciate every single one!