One of the great thing about summer is the CSA. For those of you who don't know, CSA stands for community supported agriculture. At the beginning of the summer you pay for the whole
summer's worth of vegetables and then the farm can go ahead and produce them, bringing you tons of fresh veggies from a local farm every week.
We didn't sign up for a CSA this summer because we wanted to go to more farmer's markets and choose our own stuff, but last week we decided to buy a share from someone who wasn't
able to pick theirs up that week, since we were dying to get our hands on a good supply of end of summer tomatoes (more on those in a later post).
In addition to the massive amount of tomatoes, we got a head of kale and a pound of edamame. At first, this seemed annoying, at best. Kale is gross, and edamame is at best an appetizer
- this was one of the reasons why we didn't sign up for the CSA this year, sometimes you end up with seemingly useless vegetables.
But necessity is the mother of invention, and after a quick brainstorm, we decided to try turning these veggies into a pesto. Online searches had some results for kale pesto, and
some results for pestos where the edamame replaces the nut, but we weren't able to find any results for kale and edamame pesto. So we believe this is a first. Turns out, this is actually quite good, healthier than a normal peso, and super easy to make. So
hopefully this pesto catches on, and the next time you're faced with a head of kale and find yourself wishing that kale had never been harvested, you'll have a solution!
Making the Pesto
To star, you'll need to prepare the veggies. This means removing the kale from the stems so that it's not so bitter, and blanching the kale and edamame. Bring two pots of water
to a boil and drop in the edamame for about 3 - 5 minutes, until they float to the top. The kale can stay in the water for about 5 minutes.
Once the edamame has cooked, drain them and run them under cool water so they're easier to handle. Then, start to remove the edamame from their shell. Pull the shell off and take
out the bean, placing the bean right into the food processor.
After the kale has been in the water for about 5 minutes, drain that as well, and then use a paper towel to press down on it and remove the excess water. Let it drain for a few
minutes while you remove the shells from the edamame, so that as much of the excess water is removed as possible.
Add the kale into the food processor and then add in 1 - 2 cloves of garlic, depending on how garlicky you want it. We went with two medium cloves. Grate in a quarter cup of fresh
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and a quarter cup of fresh Pecorino Romano cheese. Add a touch of salt and pepper, and finish off with the juice of half a lemon.
Begin to pulse the food processor, and as it is going add in the olive oil. Since you're using edamame, you won't need as much olive oil as a traditional pesto to get everything
to emulsify, a quarter cup at most. Add in the olive oil a tablespoon at a time, and once the pesto has gotten to the consistency that you like it, stop pulsing and give it a taste.
Adjust the flavors with salt, pepper, and extra lemon juice if it needs it, and once it's where you want it, the kale and edamame pesto is complete!
You can serve this in a lot of different ways - on bruschetta, tossed with shrimp, or simply over pasta, which is what we did. We used a whole wheat spaghetti to get a slightly
nuttier flavor to enhance the overall experience.
Cook the pasta to one minute shy of the package directions in salted water. Once it's done, add it to a sauce pan with the kale and edamame pesto and toss together. Add in a ladle
of pasta water and cook over high heat, tossing continuously, until the spaghetti is coated and a slight sauce forms. Add more pasta water if necessary.
Top with freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, and enjoy!
Our initial displeasure about receiving kale was clearly misplaced. This creation was fantastic. The kale provides a slight bitterness which is offset nicely by the cheese and olive
oil, and the edamame gives it a wonderful consistency and underlying flavor that binds everything together.
This was great over pasta, and we can only begin to imagine other uses for this. Next time we end up with kale in our grocery bag, we might try this tossed with shrimp or scallops,
or simply use this as a spread served with cheese.
So there you have it - the first ever kale and edamame pesto on the internet. Spread the word about this recipe!
And lastly, tell us in the comments - how else should we be using kale?
Click through for the full ingredient list!
Kale and Edamame Pesto
Written by: Herbie Likes Spaghetti
A new way to use kale and edamame, bringing them together into a healthy and delicious pesto
(Serves: 2 - 4)
1/2 lb pasta
1 lb edamame in their shells
1 head kale
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pecorino romano
1/4 cup parmigiano-reggiano
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil