Even though this mess of ingredients looks and tastes a lot like a pesto, since I’m Italian, I can’t, in good conscience, claim that it actually is pesto (my family would never let me get away with calling this concoction of raw goodness ‘pesto’ because it doesn’t have any nuts). But, for those of you who don’t have family or friends with such strict pesto standards, you can make this recipe, slather it all over pasta or crusty bread, and no one would be the wiser. In fact, they might just think that you made them the best raw pesto they have ever had.
(Please Note: this recipe makes a lot of Pretend Pesto, so if you don’t have room in your freezer to store the excess, half this recipe)
18-20 large leaves of curly kale, thoroughly washed and removed from the stem (if you need a quick kale tutorial check out the one courtesy of The Kitchn blog)
1/2 cup Romano Cheese
1/2 cup Asiago Cheese (or Parmesan, or whatever aged hard Italian cheese you have on hand)
1 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 head roasted garlic
1 clove fresh garlic
Using a food processor (or your trusty Magic Bullet if you don’t have room to store a food processor) pulse your cheese until it is finely grated with no lumps.
Remove from Food Processor and measure out a half cup of each Asiago and Romano cheese. Set aside.
Add kale to Food Processor and turn on medium speed while slowly streaming in olive oil until mixture is smooth (you may need to vary the amount of olive oil depending on how robust your kale leaves are). Peel roasted garlic cloves and single fresh clove. Turn food processor back on to medium speed and add cloves to kale mixture, blending until smooth and garlic has no chunks.
Then add in cheese and continue to blend until kale garlic cheese mixture is smooth. (I had to do this step by hand because my Magic Bullet couldn’t handle the capacity for this recipe). Once combined, add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve as a tasty sauce with your favorite pasta (I used Organic Gluten Free brown rice penne rigate from Jovial).
Toss in some rinsed and washed canned chi-chi beans for some added protein and fiber, and you have got yourself a super fast and easy Meatless Monday dinner recipe.