Wide shot of a small jar of pesto displayed with kale leaves and lemon. A spoon with a spoonful of pesto in the foreground.

Lemon Kale Pesto

Wide shot of a small jar of pesto displayed with kale leaves and lemon. A spoon with a spoonful of pesto in the foreground.

Lemon Kale Pesto

A zesty blend of kale, lemon, nuts, garlic, and olive oil. Use as a creamy topping for bread, lean proteins, or pasta.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dips and Spreads
Cuisine Italian
Servings 10 Servings
Calories 114 kcal

Equipment

  • Blender or food processor

Ingredients
  

  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, about 1 lemon
  • ¾ cup walnuts or pecans, toasted*
  • 3 cups packed fresh kale, about 1 small bunch
  • ¼ cup olive oil

Instructions
 

  • Add salt, pepper, garlic, lemon juice, and walnuts or pecans to a blender or food processor, pulse until finely chopped and well combined.
  • Add kale in batches. Drizzle oil into the mixture while blending and puree until pesto reaches desired consistency, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary. If pesto is too thick, add more water or olive oil to thin.
  • Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to two days.

How to Toast Nuts in the Oven

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Arrange walnuts or pecans in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  • When oven is hot, bake 8 to 10 minutes, turning nuts halfway, until nuts are golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and let cool.

How to Toast Nuts on the Stovetop

  • Heat a frying pan over medium to medium-high heat, add walnuts or pecans, do not crowd.
  • Toast about 6 minutes, stirring and flipping every 30 seconds to ensure they do not overcook or burn, until nuts are golden brown.
  • Remove pan from heat and transfer nuts to a plate to cool.
  • Store in an airtight container until ready to use. Walnuts will keep best in the refrigerator.

Notes

Change it Up
  • Swap basil, parsley, garlic scapes, or chives for kale.
  • For a Mexican inspired pesto, swap kale for cilantro and the nuts for pepitas.
  • Serve over cooked whole grain pasta, spread on toasted whole wheat bread or crackers.
  • Add to scrambled eggs and omelets.
  • Mix with low fat yogurt and serve as a dip with fresh vegetables.

Nutrition

Serving: 2 tablespoonsCalories: 114kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 2gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 188mgFiber: 1g
Keyword 30 minutes or Less, Pesto, Vegan, Vegetarian
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