Lemon Kale Pesto with Nutmeg

If you are in the habit of eating with the seasons…..you are most likely still eating quite a bit of kale! Spring produce is on its way but not quite here so kale it is.

Jessica Flanigan is a local foodie and blogger and this recipe of hers is one that I make all the time. I like to make it using Meyer lemons because of their sweetness, and they are also in season right now!

The unusual use of kale it what I really love about this, and I swear KIDS LOVE IT!

If you are looking for a healthy addition to an Easter meal, try making this as an appetizer!

Lemon Kale Pesto with Nutmeg

Kale is very, very good for our bodies. High in vitamin A, fiber and calcium. It is in season right now, and will continue to be in season, fresh at your market for the winter. But, how often do you buy it? Even I (who really loves kale) get caught in a rut getting creative with kale. A couple of weeks back I made a saute of diced sweet potatoes, onions, garlic and raisins. I threw kale in at the end and I ate two bowls of it for dinner. I seasoned it with rice vinegar and tamari. But, my standby for eating kale and lots of other greens seems to somehow include ginger, olive oil and a hot pan. This has gotten a bit old.
But, before I go on, let me tell you what I love about kale. It is somewhat flavor neutral, and does not have an extremely strong flavor like spinach or chard. This past weekend I saw a recipe in the NY Times for kale pesto. That idea has been floating around my head for two days. I decided to add pecans and nutmeg to mix it up a bit. This morning I made it. Seriously good. Very very good. You can freeze it and use it just like you would pesto. Here are some ideas for using Kale Pesto

1. mixing it with chevre for a dip on Thanksgiving (I will!)
2. putting a spoonful over a grilled white fish
3. putting a spoonful on pasta tossed with butter
4. using it as a ravioli stuffing
5. eating it with a spoon like I am doing while typing this
6. sneak it into any vegetable soup
7. saute it with other vegetables like brussel sprouts or asparagus
8. eat it on a salad
9. put it in an omelet
10. filling for lasagna

I wanted brightness in this kale, so I accentuated the flavors that would bring out the kale and not mask it. I also wanted the flavors to be festive for the season but not overly so. Here is what I came up with…

Lemon Kale Pesto with Nutmeg

1 bunch dino kale or lacinato kale
1/2 heaping cup Parmesan
1/2 heaping cup pecans
zest of 1/2 lemon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch salt
1-2 tbls. olive oil (I used lemon crush olive oil)
1 tbls. fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic minced

Roughly remove stems of kale. Add kale to pot of boiling water. Stir and cook about 45 seconds. Remove and rinse with cold water. Pick up kale with your hands and mold into a ball, squeezing out all the water you can. Really squeeze! Set aside

In a food processor, add the lemon zest, juice, salt, nutmeg, garlic and pecans. Pulse a few times to get it coarsely chopped. Add kale, and pulse while adding olive oil. Taste for salt and add more oil if it is too dry. This should not be oily like pesto. Only add enough oil so it is not dry.
Oh this is a good recipe!