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Kale Pesto

This versatile and nutritious pesto is delicious on pasta and pizza, slathered on grilled cheeses or paninis, or spooned into scrambled eggs, frittatas and soups.
Author: Nicki Sizemore


  • 1 bunch lacinato (aka Dinosaur) kale, ribs removed and discarded
  • 2 garlic cloves , peeled
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup good quality extra virgin olive oil


  • Coarsely chop the kale leaves and measure out 4 packed cups (from about 1 small bunch or ½ large bunch). In a food processor with the blade running, add the garlic cloves and chop. Add the kale, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese and a healthy pinch of salt and pepper. Process until coarsely chopped, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of water. Process to a paste. With the blade running, slowly drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil until just combined (don’t over-process, otherwise the olive oil can taste bitter). Taste and add additional salt, pepper and/or lemon juice as needed. Do Ahead: The pesto can be made up to 5 days in advance. Transfer to a bowl and drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Cover and refrigerate.