Lemon Walnut Kale Pesto

Kale is often considered as a fall and winter vegetable, yet early-mid summer kale is a bit more tender and mild, and makes for a really good, nutrition-packed pesto. Lemon brightens the flavor while the walnuts add their own taste and a nice texture. A food processor brings this pesto together quickly for pasta, pizza, salads, and more. Freezes well for later use.

4 cups packed fresh Kale, ribs removed
1 cup Walnuts
Juice of a lemon
2-3 cloves fresh Garlic or 2-3 Garlic Scapes
1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/3-1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (See previous posts about: authentic olive oils)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese (omit if vegan)
Fresh ground Black Pepper to taste

1. In food processor, pulse-chop the walnuts until coarse fine (not ground fine.) Remove walnuts from processor bowl and set aside in small-med size mixing bowl.
2. Add kale, lemon, garlic, and salt to processor bowl and run until finely chopped and blended.
3. With processor running, slowly pour enough olive oil in to blend well and reach desired consistency. 
4. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl and process an additional 20-30 seconds.
5. Use spatula to remove kale mix from processor bowl, adding to walnuts in their bowl. Fold in cheese, walnuts, and some ground pepper. Adjust taste if prefer more lemon.

Nutritional Bennies:
Kale is chock full of vitamins A, C, and K, and a good source of several B vitamins, fiber, and calcium. Kale also contains many phytochemicals that support human health. The lemon juice also boosts the vitamin C content while the garlic offers anti-inflammatory properties. Walnuts are an excellent source of alpha-linoleic acid which can be converted to heart healthy omega-3 fats in the body. Finally, EVOO is an excellent source of mono-unsaturated fat that helps to raise good blood cholesterol.