Sunday, September 29, 2013

Kale Almond Pesto

Mary Ann and I visited the Brentwood Farmer's Market this afternoon in search of fresh ingredients for our Sunday night dinner. We had fun sampling foods, people watching and picking out produce. An hour later we left the market with heirloom tomatoes, wild arugula, baby kale, basil, apple cinnamon goats cheese, raspberry honey, berries, and almonds! I played chopped with produce left in my fridge and made a Tuscan kale almond pesto. I roasted the heirloom tomatoes and some purple peppers with some extra virgin olive oil and garlic salt, and cut up some calabrese salami. I tossed rotini pasta with the pesto, tomatoes, peppers, basil and salami and topped it with red pepper flakes. As a side dish I made a baby kale and arugula salad with some avocado, candied walnuts, pomegranate seeds and my champagne vinaigrette. While the tomatoes and peppers were roasting, and the pasta was cooking we snacked on an appetizer of whole grain bread with the apple cinnamon goats cheese and a drizzle of honey. The colors on our plates were beautiful! I was skeptical of kale almond pesto because of how much I love basil, but it was fresh, nutritious and had a beautiful bright green color! Tonight's meal was a great celebration of the produce of California!

1 small bunch Tuscan kale
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup lightly toasted almonds
1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
pinch of red pepper flakes
juice of one lime
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

In a food processor, combine the garlic, almonds and pulse to chop. Add the kale, parmesan, red pepper flakes, water, lime juice, 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper and pulse to combine. Turn the processor on and drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil until you get your ideal consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning/add more kale leaves as needed.

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