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RECIPE: Dr. Weil’s Kale Pesto


If you have ever had the pleasure of checking out True Food Kitchen, you know that it is a perfect combination of healthful food and amazing taste.  If you haven’t, Dr. Weil has taken some of the most popular recipes and put them in a cook book called True Food: Seasonal, Sustainable, Simple, Pure that is absolutely gorgeous and a great gift for your favorite foodie.  One of go-to dishes is his Kale Pesto Pasta that you should try immediately!  Seriously, right now.

The best thing about this recipe is there are relatively few ingredients and it’s things that I normally always have on hand.  Of course, the main reason I always have pine nuts on hand is because I really love this recipe.  Chicken or the egg I suppose!

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First I de-stem one bunch of kale and placed it into a pot of boiling water for 3 minutes.  Then I transfer the kale to a cold ice bath.  This cold shock allows the kale to keep it’s bright color.

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At this point I usually trip over the worlds worst sous chef, Nutrition Dog.  Her main talent is sitting in the precise location where I want to put my feet.  Although I do appreciate her licking up anything I drop and she has yet to complain about my cooking.

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Once I make it safely to the sink I rinse off the kale and wring out any excess water.  This is also the point where I realize I did a truly terrible job de-stemming the kale.

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Then I add the remaining ingredients along with the kale to my Vitamix…

photo (4)…and blend until smooth.

photo (5)It makes about a cup, which is quite a bit of pesto.  I typically follow Dr. Weil’s lead and use it as a topping for pasta but it really adds flavor to pretty much any dish.  I have added it to meat and used it as a spread for sandwiches and wraps.

The kale and raw garlic also have some great immune boosting properties so it’s a wonderful thing to add to dishes when you feel a cold coming on.  It also freezes quite well so make a bunch and pull it out whenever you need a flavor boost to your favorite dish!

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Dr. Weil’s Kale Pesto

  • 1 bunch kale stemmed and chopped (about 4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Immerse the kale in the water and allow to boil for 3 minutes.  Meanwhile fill a large bowl with ice cubes and cold water.  When the kale is done boiling, use tongs to transfer the kale from the boiling water to the ice water.  This will keep the kale vibrantly green.  Allow it to soak in the ice water for another 3 minutes.  Drain the kale in a colander and squeeze it to press out any excess water.

Add the kale, cheese, pine nuts, olive oil, garlic, salt and red pepper to a food processor and blend until smooth.  The pesto will last in the refrigerator for 3 days or can be frozen.

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