Kale Pesto Dip


Some time ago my dad, Prof, challenged me to find a blog worthy recipe for kale.  He loves kale. He raves about its health benefits and he grows a lot of it. It is one of the staple vegetables in his diet. He also knows that I haven’t been such an avid fan. I often find it is bitter and has a strong aftertaste, so I am sure he was snickering to himself and thinking I would fail!  But, in accepting the challenge I set out to investigate what could be done with this rugged little green leaf. 

The first thing I learned on my kale discovery adventure was that it isn’t readily available in the shops nearby, and when I do find it it is often a bit sad and tired. The second thing that I learned is that kale needs to cook for much longer than spinach – those leaves are pretty tough. The third thing that I learned is that when cooked in the right way, I can actually enjoy this healthy green vegetable.  The recipe below is SO good, which means that I met the challenge and won – but Prof has forced me to change my views, so it’s a win for him too! Thanks Dad!

The recipe here was inspired by one I found on the mamacino blog: http://mamacino.wordpress.com/2012/08/27/hey-presto-kale-pesto-delicious-dip/ (lovely blog  with some delicious recipes – worth a look).



  • bunch of kale, washed, de-stemmed and lightly steamed
  • 1/2 c fresh basil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • juice of 1/2 small lemon
  • 1/2 c roasted cashews
  • 1/4 c grapeseed oil
  • 1/4 c Parmesan cheese, grated

Place all ingredients except oil in a food processor and blend. Scrape the sides.  Add the oil in a thin stream as you continue to blend until smooth.  You can keep for up to a week in the fridge.  It has the same versatile uses as a traditional basil pesto.  It’s especially tasty in soup!


  • 4 T kale pesto
  • 1 c sour cream
  • 1 c Greek style yoghurt

Mix all ingredients together.  Serve with chopped raw vegetables, corn chips, or crisp breads.  Shown served with Roasted Tomato and Capsicum Salsa (https://bakingbohemian.wordpress.com/2012/09/19/roasted-tomato-and-capsicum-salsa/)




About baking bohemian

My name is Jen and I am the baking bohemian. My blog identity comes from the cultural background of my mother’s family, (Bohemian), and my mother’s more left wing lifestyle (bohemian). The big ‘B’ Bohemian refers to the rich cultural heritage of our family that emigrated from Bohemia when it was still its own country (it now comprises two thirds of the Czech Republic). Food featured prominently in the family and broader social life of that part of my family. No social interaction was without sustenance, and any celebration, large or small, was an invitation to cook up a storm. My own family emigrated from the United States to Australia when I was a child. For the most part we lived with our mother, and my dad eventually moved back to the US. The little ‘b’ bohemian relates to the semi-alternative lifestyle we led with our mother. I hesitate to refer to her as a hippy, for that conjures up so many misconceptions, but certainly she was on that side of the fence. She was probably more eccentric than radical at the end of the day, but she could really cook. We always set extra plates at the dinner table because inevitably people would visit at dinner time. I started cooking when I was about eight. Cookies. Obviously I was motivated by desire! I loved cooking, I loved that the kitchen was always, in every way, the heart of the house, so I was always part of anything else that was happening while I was cooking. I loved people loving my food. With all the different things that I have done in my life and am interested in, food has remained my most consistent and enduring passion.

5 responses »

  1. I love the stuff, when I can find it. Here, it’s usually sold already chopped, which I’m less keen on. I par-boil it, then pan-fry over low heat with a little olive oil and a knob of butter toward the end. Would never have thought of it in a pesto. Sounds delicious!

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