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Kale-Basil-Parsley Pesto with Toasted Nuts

November 12, 2015

Kale-Basil-Parsley Pesto with Toasted Nuts


E: I got home around 7:10 pm today. I didn’t have to cook because I have spaghetti and fajita leftovers. But I was in the mood for a vegetarian dish that incorporated kale. I got the idea to make this recipe once I saw the pine nuts in my pantry. I haven’t made pesto in over four years, so I kinda forgot how to make it. I started googling kale pesto and I found several recipes that used kale instead of basil and walnuts instead of pine nuts.

One recipe from epicurious  from Fifty Shades of Kale, by Drew Ramsey, M.D. and Jennifer Iserloh mentions that kale-walnut pesto has high amounts of folate capable of producing a pound of serotonin in one hour- which they say translates into good sleep and a smile in the morning. Umm. .. sold!  

I didn’t stop with the kale and walnuts, I added a little bit of pine-nuts, parsley and basil as well. The result was amazing, I loved it. I’m making this again. I had leftovers that I can use on a sandwich or to flavor some veggies or chicken. 

 I really wanted to eat cavatappi pasta but I ran out. I also have a hard time finding it in my local Safeway. I used a super healthy rotini instead. The rotini also is fortified in whole grains, fiber, and omegas. 

After I made the pasta I started reading more on pestos. I discovered that the word pesto comes from the genoese word pesta, or in italian pestare. The words both remind me of the spanish word aplastar which means to crush. Apparently pesto usually is made in a mortar and pestle and other parts of Italy make red pesto sauce too. I’ll have to try that sometime. So I guess it’s more of the method than the ingredients. Although, I also found out that the parsley substitute for basil is known as pistou in french provinces.

So one can say I made a french-italian-american pesto. At least I feel like kale is an american thing. More on that another time. 


2 cups of kale

½ cup of evoo

⅛ cup pine nuts, toasted

⅓ cup walnuts, toasted

½ cup parsley

½ cup of basil

3 garlics

½ cup parmigiano (leave out for vegan)

½ tablespoon red pepper chilli flakes


Combine greens, nuts, evoo, and garlic in a food processor. I used my nutribullet though. Then add cheese and blend a little more. Done.


Boil your favorite pasta al dente. 


Add pesto to pasta and toss. I decided to warm up the pasta in the same pan I boiled it in after I mixed the pesto in just to cook the herbs a little. Sprinkle red chilli flakes.



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