Kale is a staple in my winter diet and has a faithful appearance at the Franklin Farmer’s Market early Saturday mornings. I picked up a bunch from Delvin Farm’s, knowing I wanted to make a pesto. Deborah Madison in her book, “The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone” says, “The food processor makes it very easy to make pesto, but I think it’s well worth making by hand. The slowed-down process of hand-grinding the leaves in a mortar lets you see the extraordinary transformation that takes place…” I recently invested in a porcelain mortar & pestle from Williams-Sonoma, so that was my original plan. But then, my shiny new Vitamix was staring at me and I decided to use him instead. I followed traditional pesto measurements and ingredients but switched out basil for in-season kale and added local feta cheese from Noble Springs Dairy. Indulging in butter infused olive oil from Herban Market on top of toasted, locally made baguette from FireFlour Bakery was a complete win! I hope you'll try the switch.
METHOD: Chop the kale and peel the garlic cloves. Throw kale, garlic, nuts, olive oil, and salt into a food processor. Cut the lemon in half and juice both sides with a hand juicer. Pour over mixture and blend until a smooth consistency forms.
Top with feta cheese.
This recipe was so quick & easy to make. I think because I used a tough, leafy green like kale, and not soft like basil, the Vitamix was a smarter choice. This pesto can be served on toasted bread, stirred into hot pastas, or be the star in a salad with chickpeas, red onion, and more feta for garnish.