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Kale pesto

Our pesto ingredients. Photo - Luisa Brimble

This tasty paste is a winter standby in the Ross family kitchen. It’s packed full of healthy nutrients, is endlessly versatile and simply delicious. 

Kale pesto is a clever winter alternative to summer’s basil-powered savoury spread and a perfect way to make the most of our plentiful winter kale crop. We swirl it in through pasta with melted butter; spread it on toast; dollop it on hot Brussels sprouts; fold it as a surprise in a breakfast omelette; and spoon it over grilled fish and meat.

Note: Chia seeds are seeds from Salvia hispanica, native to Mexico and Guatemala, and used by the Aztecs as a grain crop. They are packed full of fibre, protein, antioxidants and omega-3. Use sesame seeds as an alternative.


What you need:

1 bunch kale 

3 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup cashews

¼ cup of chia seeds

1 lemon, juiced

2 cloves garlic, minced

Parmesan cheese

salt and pepper


What to do:

Strip the kale leaves from the stalks. (The stalks can be frozen to use in vegetable stocks.)

Steam the kale leaves for 2-3 minutes.

Put the kale and all the ingredients, except the cheese and seasoning, in a food processor or blender. Process until creamy and smooth.

Spoon the paste into a jar and cover with olive oil. It keeps well. You can also freeze it into one-serve portions for later use.

Add grated parmesan and adjust seasoning just before using.


*Options: Replace cashews with pecans, almonds or walnuts. Try a grating of fresh nutmeg too.


Text: Linda Ross



About this article

Author: Linda Ross