Kale, the prized ‘superfood’ vegetable, is arguably the most talked about veg in recent times. Tesco saw a 90% rise in sales in 2014 alone! And who can blame the hype – kale is rich in essential vitamins A, C and K, as well as being a good source of calcium and folate. Plus, it’s affordable, versatile and available most of the year.
I love the stuff – steamed, stir-fried, roasted or blitzed in soups and smoothies. You can even eat it raw in salads. But it was while flicking through Izy Hossack’s debut cookbook Top with Cinnamon that I came across a new way with my favourite veg – herby kale pesto. Naturally, I couldn’t wait to whiz up a batch…
Pesto is a herby Italian sauce traditionally made with basil, pine nuts, olive oil and parmesan. It’s not known for being ‘healthy’, but the flavours are punchy so a little can go a long way. That said, it’s healthier to swap shop-bought for homemade as then you can control the amount of oil and cheese you use. Adding lemon juice instead of extra oil can loosen the consistency if too thick. It’s easy to make, too – a chuck-it-all-in-the-food-processor-and-blitz job. If you don’t have a food processor, you can make it by hand in a pestle and mortar. Quantities can easily be doubled so you can keep a supply in the fridge or freezer.
Izy’s herby kale pesto
(makes around 10 tbsp)
Zest 1 lemon and juice ½
1 garlic clove, minced
100g kale, chopped
Large handful fresh basil leaves
4tbsp olive oil
2tbsp grated parmesan
30g walnut halves
1. Put all the ingredients in a food processor and blend to a paste. Use immediately or store in a lidded container in the fridge or freezer.
How did I rate it?
It’s hard to believe that something so quick and easy to make can result in such fabulous flavour. The pesto was gorgeously vibrant, punchy and fresh-tasting – I had to stop myself from licking the bowl clean. I stuck with the green theme and stirred it through courgetti with toasted seeds, but it would be just as delicious tossed through pasta, or baked on top of fish or chicken.
Top with Cinnamon by Izy Hossack (Hardie Grant, £20) is out now