09 July 2012

In Season: Pasta with Kale and Cashew Pesto

I do love my winter greens. They just look so wonderfully nourishing, almost shouting “I am so good for you” in all their dark green glory. So robust, paying  no heed to the cold that other  vegetables just cannot survive. Some nourishing seriously required of late as some particularly lingering lurgy going around this season.  I don’t know many people not knocked around by the current Winter bug doing the rounds, everyone has a tale to tell of its virulence and longevity.  Thankfully  2 weeks in and I think I am almost at the end of it.  Lots of tea, gallons of honey, lemon and ginger, the odd hot toddy* and a few doses of Winter greens have all helped  see me through to the other side. This is a great way to whizz up some greens retaining all there green goodness. The mildness of the cashews works well with the more intensely flavoured greens.

*Nigel Slater’s hot toddy work a treat and was quite delicious and you can find it here.
Pasta with Kale and Cashew Pesto
Makes about 1 cup
½ cup cashews, toasted
1 small garlic clove, minced
3-4 packed cups kale, roughly chopped
¼ cup Parmesan, grated
Zest of half a lemon
½ – 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Heat a frying pan over medium heat and add the cashews. Toast for just a couple of minutes until they are just turning golden and then set them aside to cool.
Add the cashews, garlic, kale, Parmesan and lemon juice to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until you have rough paste.  With the motor running drizzle in the olive oil in a steady stream until you get the consistency that you like.  I used about 3/4 of a cup.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  
Stir through pasta with just a splash of the pasta water and sprinkle with a little Parmesan for a speedy weeknight dinner.

If you have a batch of this in the fridge you can have dinner on the table in minutes.  For me the pasta provides the comfort and the greens the requisite goodness. The pesto coasts the pasta in its vibrant green hue, the cashews mellowing the slight bitterness of the kale to make for a very satisfying bowl of comfort food to nourish and revitalise both body and soul.  
If you like this you might like this Cavolo Nero and Ricotta Bruschetta



  1. +1 from Arantxa who likes the pictures, and for me, I have to try a kale pesto!


    1. Thanks Alessandra & Arantxa :) I think you will love kale pesto Alessandra! Hope you are enjoying your travels!

  2. A fabulous pasta dish! This pesto must be really tasty.



    1. Thanks you Rosa, it hit the spot on a cold winter night :)

  3. Ohh this looks good. I'll have to try it when I get some kale in the CSA box. Last week I made pesto from radishes and almonds.

    1. Thanks Alicia, liking the sound of radishes & almonds.


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