A wonderful herb that truly screams Italy, so simple and yet full of such complex flavors that will certainly enhance any dish. With its amazing benefits that range from anti-inflammatory properties, to providing skin benefits, and promoting a healthy gut, this amazing plant happens to be one of my favorite herbs that I use in almost every single culinary creation.
   As much as I love basil though, I must admit that it is sometimes very hard to come by (especially in the winter months), so when in these cases I long for pesto, I usually have to revert to Plan B, by becoming inventive and adding organic baby kale leaves into the mix. Though this may not be considered authentic Italian by many, my untraditional version of traditional pesto will still provide health benefits and much taste to any pasta, poultry, fish, and sandwiches alike.

  • 1 cup of basil leaves (packed)
  • 2 cups of organic baby kale leaves
  • 1/2 cup of EVO + more if needed
  • 1/3 cup of freshly grated Parmigiano or any Pecorino cheese (Optional and best if not mixed in the food processor, as it tends to spoil the flavor)
  • 1 small or 2 medium garlic cloves peeled
  • 1/2 small lemon (to give it a zing and preserve color)
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • A sprinkle of nutmeg 
  • A pinch of pepper
  • Optional: 1/4 cup of pinoli / hazelnuts / almonds (or any other of your favorite nuts)
Let's get mixing...
  • Wash and dry the basil and kale leaves
  • Add to a food processor with half of the EVO, and the optional nuts, and blend (depending on the size of the food processor, you may have to add the leaves a few at a time)
  • Add the cloves of garlic, salt, pepper, spices, lemon, and some more EVO, and continue processing until smooth
    Tip: when serving over pasta, it's always a good practice to reheat the pesto in a pan with 2 tbs of the pasta water. To make it stress-free, you can also scoop some pesto into the plate, and add the water directly to it without reheating. Sprinkle some fresh EVO on the finished dish, and enjoy! (One of my latest favorite discoveries in the GF pasta department are red lentil penne from Italy, which happen to make a perfect combination with this Basil and Kale Pesto!)
Buon Appetito!
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