Kale and Walnut Pesto

Recipes, Snacks | January 19, 2017 | By

Apparently summer is in full swing but we are not really feeling it here in Wellington. It’s a bit sad especially for my garden. With a late start to summer, it is still a bit early to enjoy local summer produce like courgettes, summer squashes, tomato, capsicums and fresh basil. It seems my little backyard veggie patch is mirroring the local farmers market this week as one of the abundant vegetables seems to be Italian Kale or Cavolo Nero. 

Kale may not be what comes to mind when you think of “summer vegetables” but it is literally all over my garden right now. I find Cavolo Nero very easy to grow and because the plant is continuously growing new leaves for 6 months. I can cut off a few leaves at a time and it just keeps making more! 

When faced with a wall of kale (or basil or parsley), I often make a big batch of pesto and freeze some for later. I love love love the earthy deep flavour of fresh kale in pesto and I also want something a bit more spreadable so I could slather it all over my eggs in the morning or on grilled meats off the BBQ. And with all this yummy kale I am upping my intake of folate, antioxidants and especially vitamin K. (get it? Kale has a lot of vitamin K!).

When I make pesto I tend to use whatever nuts I have in abundance and with this recipe I was inspired to add walnuts from Cameron Family Farms as they were in abundance at the Thorndon Market along with my favorite local sheep cheese maker Kingsmeade Cheese. I picked up a bag of walnuts along with some Kingsmeade Riversdale Pecerino, a bunch of fresh basil and once home I could combine with my backyard kale, new season garlic and fruity Wairarapa olive oil. Combining these ingredients is simple if you have a food processor and in a few minutes you have a Kale Walnut Pate full of summer goodness. Turns out it is delicious on just about anything.

Please enjoy this recipe and tell me what you think! 


Kale Walnut Pesto
Serves 10
This double batch makes good use of a glut of garden kale and new season garlic, fresh basil, walnuts. Beautiful on eggs, spread on goats cheese or feta, a dollop with fritters, grilled fish, atop grilled meats like lamb kofta. We eat this spread on just about everything!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
  1. 4 cups packed torn kale leaves, stems removed (I used cavolo nero)
  2. 2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  3. ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  4. ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  5. ½ cup toasted walnuts
  6. 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  7. 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan
  1. Add kale, salt and basil leaves to food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
  2. Add walnuts and garlic and pulse until finely chopped and combined.
  3. with motor running drizzle in olive oil slowly to incorporate. Add cheese and pulse to combine.
  4. Store pate in a glass jar topped with a little olive oil.
  1. Freezes well or in fridge topped with olive oil for 1-2 weeks
The Remedy Project http://theremedyproject.co.nz/


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