Kale Almond Pesto Recipe [How To Make Pesto Sauce From Scratch]

Sunday, June 10, 2018
There was a time way back when I was all about pasta carbonara – the Ruth Reichl kind of carbonara to be exact. I will make it for days and I don’t remember ever getting tired of it. The only thing that puts an end to it was when I met a very kindly Italian grandma who opened my eyes to the wonderful world of freshly made pesto sauce

Pesto wasn’t foreign to me prior to that. But that afternoon when I was taught how to make my own fresh pesto sauce out of the freshly picked basil leaves in the garden and enjoyed the outcome immensely, was pretty magical – life changing even.

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I still love carbonara to this day but pasta with freshly made pesto sauce is a different world in itself which I am more than happy to explore.


One of the many things about making fresh pesto sauce from scratch is the fact that you can stick to the most classic combination of basil and pine nuts or be adventurous enough to use whatever green leaves and nuts you’ve got. And trust that you’ll still most likely to end up with something palatable.

Just like what I did recently. I made freshly made pesto sauce using organic Tuscan Kale and Almonds.

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I got my organic Tuscan Kale at Organic Veggie Mommies which made my dish not just delicious but healthy as well, since organic produce is naturally free of chemicals. I have blogged about this online marketplace for organic produce here at YedyLicious hence, I suggest that you check that out.

Aside from Basil, Kale is probably my most favorite leafy greens to use when making pesto. Granted it is not really fuss-free to deal with when raw because of its texture, its distinct flavor is well worth the extra steps in preparation.

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Also, preparing raw kale for pesto or even salad isn’t really that hard. Rule of thumb is to remove its hard stem or ribs, then tear the leaves into bite size pieces. Some would resort to boiling it for a good five to ten minutes to make its leaves a little less hard to work on. 

In my case however, I would more often than not resort to massaging its leaves with my hands until it turns into its wilted submission. A tablespoon of olive oil is can be helpful at times, nonetheless I’ve no problem omitting it when I’m dodging extra fat. 

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Pesto sauce calls for not a very extensive list of ingredients, hence, when making one, be sure the best good quality ingredients you can get your hands on. 

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I often use good quality Parmigiano-Reggiano and sometimes Grana Padano works well too. Toasted European pine nuts is part of the classic line up, but for this recipe, I opted for toasted slivered almonds because that was what I’ve got on hand. Then there’s also olive oil, garlic, sea salt, and pepper. 

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The lovely Italian grandmother who taught me to make fresh pesto sauce told me that authentic Italian pesto sauce is made by hand chopped ingredients. That’s what we did that afternoon, but for this recipe, I used a bullet blender. Food processor or hand blender work wonders too. 

Normally, I would throw everything together in one go and blend it until I achieved a smooth consistency. During those days when I want it a bit chunky, I will add the nuts towards the end. Sometimes, I will add in a tablespoon or two of lemon juice for added tang. 

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Freshly made pesto sauce is always best eaten the same day. But when I’m planning to stock some or have it as a gift to friends, I would leave out the cheese for it to last for a couple of weeks or so. Leaving out the cheese is also an option I resort to when preparing this for vegan friends. Otherwise, I’ve no problem enjoying it with cheese on it. 

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Kale Almond Pesto Recipe
Recipe by YedyLicious.com


This Kale and Almond Pesto recipe taste so good and very easy to make. It is nice to have a stash of it in the fridge for those days when you need to whip up something healthy, fast, and delicious. You can either use this as spread, dip, or pasta sauce - your creativity is the limit, really.
5 stars
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Total time: 10 minutes
Yield: 3 - 4 servings
Ingredients:
  • 1 Bunch of Kale 9Torn with stems and ribs removed. Massaged with a talespoon of olive oil. I used Tuscan variety.)
  • 120 grams Slivered toasted almonds
  • 50 grams Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, crumbled or grated
  • 120ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves of Garlic
  • A pinch of Salt
  • A pinch of Pepper
Cooking Directions:
  1. Prepare the kale: Wash kale thoroughly. Cut the stems/ribs then tear into small pieces. In a bowl, massaged torn kale leaves with 1 Tbsp. of olive oil until wilted. Set aside.
  2. Make the pesto: In a food processor or blender, pulse/blend kale, almonds, cheese, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper until your desired consistency. Taste and check the flavors and consistency, adjust as you prefer.
  3. You can use this kale almond pesto as a delicious addition to your salads, a spread for your sandwich, or a dip for veggie sticks. Ultimately, you can use this as a sauce for your favorite pasta.
.
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There are so many things that one can do with pesto sauce. Sometimes, I would add it on my salad, sandwiches, hot dishes, but ultimately, I enjoy it with pasta just like what I did when I made this recipe for YedyLicious. 

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Over a low fire, I just threw in a cup of my freshly made pesto sauce to 250 grams of cooked pasta spaghetti, I also added a juice of half a lemon then I sprinkle some cheese on it before serving. I find my pesto sauce seasoned well so I didn’t feel the need to season it with salt and pepper further more. It was a good meal, all things considered. 

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I cannot stress enough how easy to make this recipe is. It is plus point because since I used organic produce from Organic Veggie Mommies, I am confident that I and feeding my self healthy food devoid of pesticide and chemicals. That’s the thing about organic produce, I guess – it can provide you with such assurance. 

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If you are a regular reader of this blog, you would probably notice how much I love making pasta dishes. This one is my favorite by far because again, freshly made pesto sauce is the best. 

So, I hope you can try to make this recipe too. And when you do, it would be lovely to see it. I'll be happy if you tag me on social media (@yedylicious) and use the hashtag #YedyLicious if you upload a photo or two of your creation. 

Pin this recipe for later!

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