This recipe is one of my favorites, kale pesto with basil and cashews. We use this as a sauce on our favorite pasta, a spread on breakfast sandwiches, and to brighten up roasted vegetables. I’m not a kale lover but this bright green kale pesto is like healthy comfort food. I love making this big batch so that we have it on hand for pasta, sandwiches and cheeseboards whenever we need it. The inspiration for this recipe came from a favorite Trader Joe’s item, the Vegan Kale and Cashew Pesto.
Early in quarantine, one of the items that I stocked up on was Trader Joe’s Vegan Kale, Basil and Cashew Pesto. It was lower calorie and less expensive than those tiny jars of genova pesto from the store, and the brightness of the kale adds great flavor. However, when I started buying two or three tubs of it each time we went to the store, Alex pointed out that we could probably make a copy cat version!
This is a perfect example of our approach to batch cooking. By making a large amount all at once I know I’m taken care of for probably two months. Plus, it’s economical! I buy my kale at Haymarket, a historic pushcart market in the North End where I can usually get a nice big bunch for $1.00. That’s right… $1.00. Haymarket purveyors sell nearly-expired or imperfect produce that grocery stores won’t carry, but which are perfectly ripe and ready to be transformed. Whenever I’m going to spend Sunday in the kitchen making big batches of easy to store recipes like kale pesto, I hit Haymarket on Saturday to stock up on my ingredients.Print
Kale Pesto with Basil and Cashews
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 5.5 Cups 1x
- 1 large bunch of kale, de-stemmed and rough chopped
- 1 bunch of basil (roughly 2 cups lightly packed)
- 280 g raw, unsalted cashews (roughly 2 cups)
- 60 g (4 T) of olive oil, plus more for texture
- 1 – 2 garlic cloves, optional
- Kosher salt to taste
- Juice of half a lemon
- 3 T of parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast
- Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, and quickly blanch chopped kale for about 45 seconds until bright green. Set aside.
- Add cashews and the 4 T of oil to your food processor and process until finely chopped. If using garlic add it as well here. You will almost get to a cashew butter consistency, but stop while the mixture is still grainy.
- Slowly add kale, basil, parmesan/nutritional yeast, salt and lemon juice and process until evenly mixed. Taste and adjust salt, olive oil or other flavors until satisfied.
- Serving Size: 2 Tablespoons
- Calories: 56 kcal
- Fat: 5g
- Carbohydrates: 3g
- Fiber: 1g
- Protein: 2g