Kale and radishes are doing great in the garden, sooooo it’s time for pesto!
I fell in love with pesto the first time I tried it, as I’m sure everybody does. As a gardener I fell in love with it all over again. You can throw whatever that is growing well in your garden in a food processor, add some garlic, olive oil, nuts and cheese and call it a day. The layers of flavors depend on the number of ingredients you add to it. You can make it vegan simply by omitting the cheese. This week, Kale and radishes are growing great so therefore, I give you Kale and Radish Pesto.
Pesto comes from the Italian word, pestare, which means to pound or crush. Authentic pesto is made in a mortar and pestle as the food processor hadn’t been invented yet.
The original pesto was first noted in Genoa, Italy, referred to as Pesto Alla Genovese, made with basil, garlic, salt, pine nuts, parmesan, pecorino and olive oil. This is the common pesto we know today. There were earlier versions in Rome and Provence with the ingredients that were available in those regions at that time. In Provence it was called Pistou and only contained basil, garlic and olive oil as they didn’t have pine trees. In Chile, there is a similar sauce called Pebre. This was brought over from the Catalan region by engineers contracted by an Italian architect. You can read more about Pebre Sauce here. Although there will always be Pesto Alla Genovese, pesto itself is global and every changing. This is blasphemy to pesto purists, I hope I don’t get in trouble for this.
Pesto is easy to make and easy to store. It can be refrigerated up to one week with a thin layer of olive oil on top or put in ice cube trays to freeze and keep for several months.
- 4 medium sized curly kale leaves
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and trimmed
- 1/4 cup of your favorite herbs (I used rosemary, thyme, basil)
- 4 radishes, trimmed and coarsely chopped
- 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup hard, salty cheese such as parmesan, romano, pecorino (I used cotija)
- juice of half a lemon
- salt to taste
- Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse/process until all is chopped fine. Drizzle more olive oil if needed to make a thick sauce consistency.
- Alternatively you may make this in a mortar and pestle, start with the salt and garlic, then the herbs, kale and remaining ingredients but add the cheese last.