52 Weeks of Kale – Kale Pesto


In September 2013 I decided to expand my repertoire of kale recipes by posting a new recipe every week. The 52 Weeks of Kale project was born!

I eat this pesto on everything. I use it as a pizza sauce, as a dip, to top baked potatoes, to top soup, as a sauce with meat, basically everything except as a pasta sauce. However, once I get my veggie twister I will be trying it on zucchini noodles.

Even though kale isn’t as flavourful as basil, I find by adding extra garlic, lemon and olive oil you can make a delicious pesto with all the goodness of kale. You could also try using half basil and half kale.

Traditionally pesto is made with pine nuts, but they are quite pricey, so I use cashews instead and haven’t noticed a huge difference. I’ve heard you can also use walnuts.

Lamb chops with kale pesto

Ingredients (makes approximately 1 cup)

2 Tbsp cashews (or other nuts)
1 cup kale leaves, stems removed (you could also use other greens)
5 cloves garlic, skins removed (this will make it very garlicky, use less if you worry about that!)
1 Tbsp parmesan cheese
Juice and rind of 1 lemon
Pinch of salt
2.5 Tbsp olive oil


Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Place the cashews on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 10 minutes (keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn). Put aside until cool.

Place all ingredients into a food processor and process until it forms a paste. Taste and add extra salt, lemon or olive oil if required.

Eat with everything 🙂 You can freeze it if it lasts that long!

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  1. I never used cashews in pesto before. I’ll have to give that a try.

  2. I love pesto, and this sounds delicious. Will have to try the half and half me thinks 🙂

  3. Sounds good! Yes, walnuts are good in pesto, too.

  4. I made this and it was good – thank you! I added pine nuts and sunflower seeds.

  5. Linda Morris says:

    My daughter is allergic to all nuts and sunflower seeds. Is there anything else I could use in pesto”


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