Kale And Edamame Pesto - An Original Creation - Herbie Likes Spaghetti Blog at Allrecipes.com - 249839

Herbie Likes Spaghetti

Kale and Edamame Pesto - an Original Creation 
Sep. 12, 2011 10:53 am 
Updated: Oct. 1, 2011 9:37 am


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!

The Results

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

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

(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

Completed kale and edamame pesto
Photo Detail
Kale and edamame pesto with grated cheese
Photo Detail
Sep. 12, 2011 11:01 am
xmascarol7, your blog is terrific and the photos, well, wow! I'm intrigued and have just one question; I've never tasted Kale, how would you describe the flavor of this pesto? Well, ok, 2 questions; about your name - you wouldn't happen to be born on xmas, would you? My oldest friend is a genuine Christmas Carol, born on the very day. You're not her in disguise are you? Nah, she can't take a decent pic to save her life. LOL!
Sep. 12, 2011 11:34 am
I came very close to signing up for a CSA share this summer but my husband talked me out of it because he was sure we'd be getting plenty of veggies from friends and neighbors. Well with the dry summer we've had, that hasn't happened. We've bought from produce vendors at the flea market but I'm sure we've spent more money then we would have originally. I applaud your creativity and pesto is something want to make. Beautiful pictures and love the cats.
Sep. 13, 2011 2:19 pm
Great blog, thank you!
Sep. 13, 2011 3:26 pm
Thanks for this recipe. I need to try it out. Another use for Kale is chips. We toss it with oil and a little bit of salt and roast it in the oven. Yummy!
Sep. 14, 2011 3:51 am
Funny a couple weeks ago my husband was reading an article about the top best foods for women. Guess he wants me around for awhile...lol. Anyway one of the foods at the top of the list was Kale and he asked me what it was, which I had no idea, even though I'd heard of it before. Last week we were at the beach on vacation and went to a farmer's market and there was a bin of Kale, but only one small bunch was left. I asked the vendor about it and he said it goes like hotcakes but had no idea how to cook it. I didn't buy any since I had no computer access to research how we could cook it. I don't see it in the local grocery but will look for it again this weekend and give your recipe a try. Thanks for the blog.
Oct. 1, 2011 9:37 am
I love kale, actually. I discovered it by accident when I grabbed a bag of it instead of mustard greens. I use it as a foil for super rich soups, I pan fry it in cast iron with a little oil, salt, garlic powder and cracked pepper which led me to discovering kale chips. If you clean the kale, trim the stems and cut the leaves down to chip-sized pieces, toss it with ab 1 1/2 tbs olive oil, lay it out on a pan and bake it at 400 for maybe 10 minutes (adjust accordingly, burnt is baaad) then season with whatever dills your pickle (I like sea salt & garlic or gomasio) it can be as addictive as potato chips. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on it again this season!
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