I know. It is a bit early for Cook Local to be focusing on kale recipes. After all, it is just the first week of September. However, fall is in the air and soon all of those luscious tomatoes and peaches and sweet corn will be a fond memory until next year.
Honestly though, that is a big part of why I love to cook local. Even though I occasionally pine for asparagus, I enjoy it so thoroughly when it returns in the spring, that I’m content to be thrilled by sweet corn in August and peppers through October. Today, we have a recipe that brings a little autumn into your summer cooking. Kale is super healthy for you, with a lot of iron and a rich, very green taste. We’ve got a number of different recipes for it, but until recently, we’d never actually turned it into a pesto.
- 1 bunch of kale, chopped
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- Sea salt
- 1/2-1 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
- 4 medium tomatoes, sliced
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Add the kale to a large bowl. You can do this in a food processor, but I just used my chef’s knife. The dish will change slightly as the kale chop moves from rough to fine.
- Mix in the minced garlic, the olive oil, and the salt.
- Oil a baking dish and line it with the sliced tomatoes.
- Top with a layer of kale and sprinkle some of the shredded Parmesan on top.
- Add another layer of kale and more Parmesan.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until the Parmesan has started to turn golden brown.
Our Notes: We absolutely loved this dish. Kale makes an excellent pesto and it is incredibly healthy. The cheese formed blend of crunch and gooey that set the dish off. If only tomatoes were regularly available over the winter, this would be our new go-to dish for kale. You do need to be careful eating this RIGHT OUT OF THE OVEN. The kale will be an appropriate temperature almost immediately, but the tomatoes need at least a couple of minutes to cool. For a variation, place the tomatoes on top of the kale and brush with a little olive oil before baking so they won’t dry out. Alternatively, chop the tomatoes and just mix them in with the kale pesto. These two flavors together work very well. The sweet tomatoes cut any bitterness of the kale.
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