Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Basil with Baby Kale Walnut Pesto

I remembered working at Bostons Children hospital years ago and the hospital had an Au Bon Pain cafe. My regular purchases at that cafe was either their chicken noodle soup or the Caprese on ciabatta which was fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, arugula & basil pesto with all natural chicken. The Caprese on ciabatta was my favorite sandwich because it tasted so good and that pesto paste was to die for.

Years later, I have had my share of pesto sandwiches and I decided to make my own pesto paste..  It is very easy to make. About 10 minutes tops. This post is just about the paste. I will write another post on using pesto paste in different dishes.

I made my own variation of the original pesto that is made with basil greens and pine nuts.  Since pesto can be made with about any greens, I chooses to combine basil with BABY kale with walnuts for my pesto. The regular kale is hard while the baby kale is very soft and it does have the perfect texture am looking for. I kept the basil because I love the minty like taste of the basil. Okay here is the recipe

2 cups packed fresh baby Kale
1 cup basil
2 medium cloves garlic
1/2 cup walnut
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 each of grated Parmesan and Romano cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine the Baby kale, basil, garlic,walnut, Parmesan and Romano cheese in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.  Add extra-virgin olive oil and process until fully mixed. Season with salt and pepper.That is it.

For storage, I transfer paste to a air tight container and add a little bit of olive oil on top. This will last about a month. You can also transfer to ice cube tray and freeze. Then remove one cube at a time for eating.