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Kale Pistachio Pesto


  • • Salt
  • • 1 large bunch of kale (preferably lacinto kale), stemmed
  • • ¼ cup roasted unsalted pistachios
  • • 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
  • • 1 cup flat leaf parsley (leaves and thin stems only)
  • • ½ cup grated Parmesan
  • • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Have at the ready a large bowl filled with ice and water. Coarsely tear or chop the kale and add to the boiling water. Cook just until wilted but still vibrant green – just a few minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the kale to the ice water bath. When the kale has cooled, drain and squeeze out as much water as possible. (If using pasta, you can use this water to also cook the pasta.)
  2. • In a food processor, pulse the pistachios until finely ground. Add in the garlic, parsley, Parmesan and lemon zest and pulse until smooth.
  3. • With the machine running, add the olive oil in a stream and process until smooth.
  4. • Season pesto with salt and pepper.
  5. • If tossing with pasta, reserve about ½ cup of the pasta water and add to the pasta to thin as necessary. Adjust seasonings.