We make pesto with whatever green, leafy vegetables are in the fridge (we're talking to you, kale and spinach), and blend with If & When, fresh garlic and...cheese. A hard, flavorful, salty rind. In this recipe, a sliver of Manchego cheese and handful of walnuts join the party in the food processor.
1 bunch fresh kale, stems included (if you have fresh spinach leaves as well, add some)
1 bunch basil
Wedge of salty, hard cheese such as Manchego
1+ tsp Bay Leaf Black Pepper Preserved Meyer Lemon Paste
2 - 3+ TBS extra virgin olive oil
1 small clove garlic, smashed (we like a strong garlic taste, so add a few bits at a time to suit yours)
Handful of walnuts or pine nuts (we used walnuts because we had them on hand and because we forgot to buy pine nuts. Oops.)
Clean the greens. Remove kale from stems. Place half the leaves in a food processor. If they all won't fit, begin with what will.
Divide basil into two bunches. Remove leaves from one bunch and add to food processor. Set aside the remainder.
Add some of the garlic clove, juice of half the lemon, If & When, nuts, 2 TBS oil and a sliver of cheese - about 3-4 bite size pieces (if it will fit on a Ritz cracker with room to spare, it's bite size).
Roughly chop in food processor. Mixture should reduce to 1/2 to a 1/3 of original size. Add more kale, 1 TBS olive oil, blend and taste.
Prefer more lemon and salt? Add more If & When. Okay on the oil, but the mixture needs more moisture? Add 1/2 TBS of fresh lemon juice diluted with 1/2 TBS water. Add more basil sparingly so that it doesn't overpower the other flavors, unless you want it to. Blend to desired coarseness.
Drizzle on top of grilled meat or fish, or as a sauce for pasta. We wanted warm pesto, aka cooked greens, so we sauteed finely chopped onion in a bit of butter in a small saucepan, added the pesto, heated and served over grilled chicken breasts.