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.