p[r]esto.

I love dogs.  I love Volvos.  I love sunny weather.  I love vegetables.  I LOVE pesto.

Fresh and vibrant and versatile, it’s one of my favorite sauces, hands down.

I’ve made some pretty stellar batches in my lifetime (based on my obviously professional opinion).  These have included spinach, basil, kale, arugula and have been paired with walnuts, pine nuts, pecans, peanuts, and the like.  In the past (pre non-dairy lifestyle), I’ve complimented these flavors with a dry cheese (parmesan, pecorino) and a lot of olive oil glugs.

During my recent empanada party, I experimented with a new combination of greens and nuts, omitted all dairy, and laid off a few glugs of olive oil.

People often assume that the omission of a main ingredient (especially a fat!) compromises the flavor.  I used to agree, and on occasion still do (moderation, people — moderation).  But in many instances it’s relatively easy to manipulate and enhance the flavors of the healthful ingredients, turning out distinct and rich flavors sans the bad stuff.

This is a prime example.  And holy heavens will it rock your world.

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Kale + Pistachio Pesto

What you’ll need:

  • 1 large bunch of kale (washed, roughly chopped)
  • 1 bag of pistachio guts (I prefer the lightly salted)
  • 2-3 glugs of olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic (I start with one and only add the other if necessary)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • roughly 1 cup water to alter thickness as desired

How to do it:

  • Blend kale, pistachios, garlic, pepper, and lemon juice in your food processor.
  • Slowly add olive oil while processor is on.
  • Add water to achieve desired thickness (I like my pesto pretty thick). 

Pesto will store for a week or two in an air tight container in the fridge.

Serve it on chicken, over noodles, mixed in with your broccoli, as a salad dressing, or slather it on your sandwich.

It’s fast, it’s fresh, and it’s guaranteed to tickle your taste buds.

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