Folks, we have basil! I’ve been eagerly awaiting for our first basil of the season and our CSA farm thankfully included it in this week’s supply. I just love how the smell permeates everything–I didn’t even touch the actual basil until I got back home from the farm, but my hands + car totally smelled like it just from handling the bag.
So what’s a girl to do with her first fresh basil of the summer? Is that even a question? Pesto! I’ve made my fair share of pesto in my day, but this time, I really wanted to try to make it without my standard additions of pine nuts + feta or parmesan cheese. Jeff swore that it couldn’t be done, that it just wouldn’t taste right, but when I surprised him with a taste of this batch when he got home from work, he had no idea I’d even left anything out of the usual recipe!
I also wanted to add a little kale in with the basil this time, especially since we got a bunch with our veggies this week, and since I had a few leftover toasted almonds from Monday’s dinner, I threw those in as well. I was honestly a little shocked at just how good it turned out with the unusual ingredients, but I’m so excited it did!
And now, I have a glorious cup of fresh pesto in my fridge waiting to be used–be prepared, next week’s recipes just might all be pesto themed!
Have you ever changed up the standard pesto recipe? Find any other good combinations?
Kale Almond Pesto
Makes about 1 cup
3 cups kale, washed and de-stemmed
1.5 tablespoons almonds
3.5 cups basil
3 cloves garlic
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon olive oil
salt, to taste
Heat the tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add kale and sautee until wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
Place almonds in a cast iron pan and cook until toasted, turning often, about 3-4 minutes.
Combine kale, almonds, basil, garlic, lemon juice, remaining olive oil, and salt in a food processor. Pulse until combined, adding more olive oil or salt, if desired.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freeze for later use.
Time: 15 minutes