Kale for Kids – Part 2

by kimgerber on 06/10/2012

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Last week we made Olive Oil Kale Crisps, a fun and delicious way to introduce kids to the incredibly nutritious vegetable, Kale.  But where do we go from here?  The kids like the Kale as chips, but ONLY as chips, yet the beautiful bunches of brightly colored Kale call to me every Saturday at the farmers market.  I know we can only make so many batches of Kale chips before they tire of them – so how else can we prepare this incredibly nutritious vegetable?  How can we turn it into a meal they will enjoy?

Enter Pesto.  Pesto by definition is an olive oil based sauce made with herbs and garlic.  Traditionally, it is made with olive oil, basil, garlic, Parmesan cheese and pine nuts.  However, having eaten many versions of pesto utilizing different greens I knew a Pesto would be the perfect way to introduce Kale in a different form to the kids.

With slightly wilty bunch of Kale from the previous week’s farmers market shopping, and some left over walnuts in the pantry, I set to work and less than  half an hour later, my kids were slurping up long noodles of spaghetti coated in one of my favorite green veggies.  Hooray!


Kid-Approved Kale & Walnut Pesto

Special Equipment: Food Processor

Time: 5 minutes

Serves: makes approximately 1 cup pesto


  • 2 cups roughly torn kale, any variety (approximately 3 large stems, tough stalk removed)
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • 3 tbsp small walnut pieces, toasted* (*see below)
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil


  1. Place all ingredients (except olive oil) in the food processor.
  2. Pulse until ingredients are finely chopped.
  3. Turn food processor to on and with food processor running, slowly drizzle olive oil over the ingredients until incorporated.
  4. Turn off food processor and remove pesto to jar.

*For Toasted Walnuts:

  • line a small baking sheet or pie plate with foil and add walnut pieces.
  • Preheat toaster oven to 350.
  • Bake until lightly golden and fragrant (1-2 minutes) shaking pan occasionally for even cooking.
  • **Walnuts can also be toasted in a small dry skillet over medium heat.

Serving suggestions:

  • Over pasta
  • Over grilled meats, chicken or fish
  • As a sandwich (or grilled panini) spread
  • As a dip for baked pita chips, fresh pita, focaccia or other soft bread


Until next week…

© 2012, kimgerber. All rights reserved.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Mimi August 26, 2014 at 10:01 am

I love this pesto!! I have so much kale in the garden that it is fabulous to have another recipe. I topped polenta I was having for lunch and can’t wait for dinner to have more on pasta! Pesto is usually overwhelming with to much garlic but this recipe is perfect! Love the lemon and bits of sea salt as well! Thank you!
Have you tried to freeze it yet?


kimgerber September 1, 2014 at 8:24 am

Thanks, Mimi! Freezing works great! The color may change a little, but the lemon should help with that. Thanks so much for the comment!


Kate August 9, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Hooray! I already love Kale, but one gets weary of soup, pan wilted kale, kale chips, or stewed greens, so this is a whole NEW way to enjoy it. Thank you.


Karen D. July 20, 2012 at 9:10 am

Yummy! I will have to try this. My youngest (4) loves kale. The first time I served it to him, I gave him the variety nicknamed “dinosaur kale.” He loved it and now calls all Kale – dinosaur kale. We make Winter Kale Pasta (from cleananddelicious.com) which is basicly sausage, pasta, kale, dried cherries, pinenuts and feta. I usually leave off the pinenuts. Also Spicy Tuscan Soup (tastykitchen.com) which is a sausage, potato and kale soup. Both are delicious and have made kale a regular food in our household. We even put frozen kale in smoothies!


Devan Peterson June 24, 2012 at 12:22 pm

I was wary because I’ve never made anything with Kale in it and it has a distinctive taste but this recipe was delicious! Thanks for a healthier way to make pesto! I’m going to make it like this from now on.


kimgerber June 25, 2012 at 8:59 am

Thanks for letting me know you liked it! I’m so happy to hear that. Next time you make it, if you’d take a picture and post here to share with others that would be great: http://pinterest.com/outoftheboxfood/out-of-the-box-food-recipes-made-by/


kimgerber June 22, 2012 at 4:35 pm

Thank you Susan and Amelia! I hope you enjoy it!


Susan June 20, 2012 at 10:50 am

What a wonderful idea! I just got a bunch of kale in my CSA this week. I’m in such an alternative pesto mode lately too, that I might just have to give this a try!


Amelia June 19, 2012 at 9:09 am

Beautiful! I love making pesto with extra leafy greens of all kinds, but haven’t done kale yet, so I’m excited to give this recipe a try!


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