loath as i am to admit it, i got this from Jamie Oliver – not that its pedigree bothers me, oh no, only that it had taken me this long to realize/discover/be informed that you can basically make (non traditional) pesto out of all manner of greens. i don’t recall what book it’s in, but he refers to it as an elegant winter pesto, and, having tried it, i have to agree.
i followed his directions to blanch the kale first, just to soften it a little (also to cook the pasta in the kale water – whether or not this makes a tasteable difference i couldn’t tell, but there’s certainly no sense wasting water, right?), and while i myself used parmigiano-reggiano, it’s a pretty veganizeable recipe; i would recommend adding capers or olives or something to brine it up a little in that case, but follow your heart. mine also contained some pickled lemon, but that’s hardly indispensable, however delicious. in lieu of pine nuts, i did toasted almonds, but i think that walnuts and walnut oil would do just as well, so long as you’re not afraid of the compounded bitterness.
in other news, just last month Clotilde embarrassed me still further by busting out this radish leaf pesto, which i am just champing at the bit to try myself. i was initially thunderstruck by the prospect of maximizing the productivity of the fucking radishes i inevitably seem to dumpster at the Atwater market, but it dawned on me that their effluvial profusion is largely due to the tendency of their leaves to decline into unsaleability well in advance of the attached roots. disappointment ensued, because it’s not like i ever buy the damn things.