I have grown kale for the first time this year and it’s a roaring success. From the minute I planted the seeds in my greenhouse this super-food took off (literally). Seedlings emerged after three days and four weeks later I planted them into a raised bed. Just two weeks later I started to pick baby kale for smoothies and now we just can’t eat it fast enough; its amazing how fast it grows. In addition to smoothies we chop and wilt into stir- fries, chili, frittatas and pasta dishes; we have embraced our kale wholeheartedly and its now part of the family. I wanted to make pesto for dinner the other night and we had run out of basil, so kale came to the rescue. It’s a punchy version of this classic sauce with the lovely undertones of Isle of Wight smoked garlic (my current other food crush). Kale’s uses are many and it’s got that added good for you vibe plus this pesto is dead easy to make, providing you have a food processor.
1- 2 large cloves smoked garlic
75g cashew nuts (almonds, pine nuts or walnuts would also work here)
50g kale or baby kale, rinsed and roughly chopped
75g Pecorino Romano (or any Italian style hard cheese) cheese, grated
100ml extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper and sea salt (smoked is even better- I use Maldon)
- Toast the cashews in a hot, dry frying pan till just golden and set aside to cool. Rinse and finely chop the kale.
- Blitz the cooled cashews and the kale in a food processor with the garlic, olive oil and cheese. Season and taste then and add more garlic if it needs it. Now take a look at it and add a little more oil if too thick to make sure you can to stir it into soup, mix it with pasta or spread on bread.
This versatile little number will last for 4-5 days if refrigerated but no longer; remember the kale is raw in this.
I originally wrote this recipe for the Dorking Advertiser where it first appeared in August 2015