Kale and Sunflower Seed Pesto


I know, I know… Kale is one of those things that hipsters/juicers/healthy people are all into right now. You either love it or hate it. My own husband isn’t a fan- he says he feels like he’s eating the garnish that came on the plates back in our good ol’ Ponderosa days. But guys, I dig it. It’s super good for you and there are about a million things you can do with it. This recipe is one of my favorites, plus it makes a TON, so you can freeze some and eat some now. We know I like a good make-ahead! There’s a sneaky spicy kick to it thanks to some red pepper flakes, and it’s a nice way to change up your usual basil pesto as well if you’re tiring of that… But who tires of pesto, really?

½ cup raw sunflower seeds
2 whole cloves garlic
2 cups packed chopped kale leaves
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
¾ cup shredded Parmesan cheese, grated, plus more for serving
½ – 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/3 – ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 lb. pasta (I used linguine)

To start, lightly toast your sunflower seeds in a medium skillet over medium heat. Just a few minutes til they’re good and fragrant. Remove to a bowl and set aside.

Return the pan to the burner. Place the garlic cloves in the pan and toast until lightly browned on all sides. Remove from the heat and cool.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the kale, basil, sunflower seeds, toasted garlic, Parmesan and red pepper flakes.

Pulse until finely ground, scraping down the bowl as needed. With the processor running, add the olive oil in a steady stream through the feed tube until incorporated.



Transfer to a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. *Can be stored refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

In this case, I tossed the pesto together with some shredded chicken and my pasta.

Delish! Healthy! Kid approved! I mean really. Jack goes ape for this stuff. Try it next time you want a quick, comforting pasta dish.

Recipe from Annie’s Eats.


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