Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Cool Kale Pesto

One of the neat things about my workplace is that there are raised garden beds surrounding the building in which employees grow flowers, vegetables, herbs, or whatever they wish. I signed up for a plot (and adopted one) soon after I began work in August. I grew kale! I planted a variety called Ethiopian kale; a friend gave me the seeds back in Jacksonville, FL a few summers ago.

The kale did so well this fall in Richmond; however, we are having such an unseasonably warm winter, that it has begun to bolt!

I decided to harvest the last of it before either, A) "real" winter comes or B) it becomes too bitter since bolting. I picked the now tiny leaves before I left work today.

First, I thought I'd steam them. Then I considered sauteing them with coconut oil. Thanks to my coworker, Deb, for the coconut oil gift! I noticed that the Spectrum coconut oil she gave me smelled like delicious coconut, much more so than the Tree of Life jar I'm almost finished with. I remember being surprised upon opening Tree of Life that it didn't really smell like coconut. Anyone have a favorite brand? My dear friend Elizabeth, who is studying nutrition at the same school I graduated from, loves coconut oil. She keeps a jar in her medicine cabinet and a jar in her kitchen.

In the end, I couldn't bare to put heat to these tender little greens, so in the spirit of Raw Summer, I decided to make a kale pesto. I happened to also borrow a little parsley from someone's garden at work. My recipe was something like this:

Peel kale from tough center stalk and put in food processor.

I added about 4 cloves of garlic, a lot (maybe 1/3 to 1/2 cup) of olive oil, a few sprigs of parsley, a few fresh basil leaves from my window plant (which is doing so well!), a touch of salt, and hit the blend button.

I had to scrape the sides of the food processor pretty often because the pesto would stick to the edges:


I was a little worried that it would be too bitter... It was delicious! I ate it on toast, and it smelled wonderful!

Pesto: a nutritious, versatile, raw, tasty, meal or snack.

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