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Pea & Kale Pesto

Updated: Oct 24, 2018

I don't always have freshly picked peas at my disposal, but after a day on the farm you better believe I'd put these beautiful creatures to use.

Peas are a nutritional power house equipped with a decent amount of potassium, iron, vitamin C, folate, fiber, and plant-based protein. They also lend themselves nicely to pretty much anything you're cooking. I'm thinking braised chicken thighs with lemon and peas, chilled pea soup, or maybe a bright salad of baby lettuce, peas, and burrata cheese?

Before I get ahead of myself (and before my farm fresh peas aren't so fresh anymore) let's make pesto. Using peas and greens in a pesto allows you to preserve the freshness of seasonal produce and incorporate it into whatever you're making 1, maybe 2 weeks down the line. So yes, because I cant feasibly cook every single day of the week, let's make a pesto, jar it up, and take it from there. And also, let's add kale to the mix...


Pea & Kale Pesto

yield: about 1 1/2 cups

1 cup fresh peas (yes you can absolutely use frozen)

1 cup kale, tightly packed

1 cup water

1/2 cup walnuts

3/4 cups parmesan, grated

1 clove garlic

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Place peas, kale, and 1/2 cup water into a deep pan over medium heat. Bring to simmer, cover and cook just until vegetables turn bright green, about 3-4 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon and shock* by placing in a bowl of ice water. Drain peas and squeeze excess water out of kale.

Place vegetables into food processor or blender along with walnuts, parmesan, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Blend until a thick paste forms. While blender is still running, pour in olive oil. Adjust consistency with remaining 1/2 cup of water.

Store pesto in airtight container or jar for up to a week, or freeze in ice cube trays and transfer to ziploc bags for later use.

*shocking is a culinary technique in which the cooking process is suddenly terminated by submerging foods into an ice bath. This is usually done to retain a desirable color and texture.

Suggested Uses:

- in a sandwich

- in place of salad dressing

- over chicken or fish before grilling or roasting

- mixed with ricotta over toast

- spread onto fresh sliced tomatoes

- tossed with whole grain pasta

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