I am the Psycho Kaler, the Psycho Kaler is me. As ridiculous as it sounds I have a hard core kale habit, I’m a total whore for that green crack. Kale chips doused in nut butter, smoked paprika and garlic, or savoury yeast, kale salad massaged with tahini dressing, green smoothies loaded with leaves of it and now this, the uber concentrated version – kale pesto. A jar of this in the fridge means I can now slather condensed kale on my paleo bread, toss it through my eggs and mushies or mix it into a salad dressing, oh happy, werido kale addiction fuelling day.
Unlike traditional pesto this version omits the parmesan so it’s great if you have a dairy free diet. Although I’m personally a big fan of parmie, I find that with almost spicy sharpness of the kale and fresh basil it doesn’t lack any flavour for being cheese free.
And the other great thing about it? Dead, stupid, ridiculous easy to make, if you can operate the power switch on a blender I reckon you’ll be all over this one.
Get this stuff
100 grams kale leaves, stems removed and torn into smallish pieces
60 grams fresh basil including stems which is about 3 big handfuls or 3 of those dinky supermarket packs
1 C walnut pieces
1 garlic clove
1/8 – 1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
2 T lemon juice
1/4 t each fresh ground salt and pepper
Do this with it
This is another one of those recipes where I feel almost embarrassed to call it a ‘recipe’ when it’s little more than just tossing ingredients in a blender and hitting go.
So, start by doing that; put everything except the oil into a food processor, blender or some sort of electronic crushing machine and set it to work. You might need to stop a few times to scrape the sides down and push the leaves into the mixture to get it all well combined into a smooth paste.
At this stage it’ll be quite thick so you’re going to start by adding 1/8 C of olive oil and blending to test what that does for the consistency. I wanted a thick and spreadable pesto so that was enough for me but, if you want it a bit runnier then slowly add more oil a teeny bit at a time while the machine is running. Now listen, don’t be fucking impatient, small increments is the key here as it can change texture quite quickly and if you just go dumping oil in you’ll end up with green slop before you can say ‘oh cock….’, tasty green slop, but slop all the same. Adding oil while the machine is running will also allow you to see what’s going on and control the texture. The walnuts are also loaded with lots of beautiful natural fats and will also release their own oil as you process the mixture so you shouldn’t need any more than an extra 1/8 C of olive oil.
I went for a smooth and creamy pesto with this batch but, if you prefer yours a bit on the chunkier side all you need to do is reserve 1/4 C of walnuts then add them in at the end. Process the mixture enough to break them down into little bitty bits that will create a bit more texture in your end result.
Once you’ve reached the consistency you like that’s it, job done. Find a jar, scoop it in and store in the fridge. I can also highly recommend chucking a loaf of some sort of delicious home baked bread in the oven before you start then spreading a warm, fresh baked slice of it with a thick layer of this green glory, topping with avo and cherry toms and devouring in big greedy mouthfuls. Fucking perfect.