kale & walnut pesto

Now that I’m off for the summer, I am trying to get back to clean eating and cooking better meals. I’ve had a package of gnocchi sitting around the kitchen for awhile now and instead of pouring the traditional pasta sauce over it, I thought I’d try out a new pesto. I’ve seen versions of kale pesto in various magazines, but this pesto recipe from bon appetit seemed interesting and appetizing. I normally like to play around with recipes a bit and substitute ingredients, but for this one I didn’t change anything. I always use my husband as my gauge to tell if a recipe is good or not and he said this will definitely be one we will repeat. It’s simple, filling, and very tasty!

First, I toasted my walnuts. As bon appetit states, you can substitute pine nuts for walnuts. I can’t tell you how many times I have cooked the nuts too long and burned them. I think a good rule of thumb is that once they become fragrant, they are ready to be pulled from the heat. Once you have toasted your walnuts, set them aside.


 Next, blanch your kale. Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add your chopped kale to the boiling water for about 1 minute and then strain it. Run cold water over the kale to help cool it. The, dry off your kale. I literally picked up a chunk of kale and squeezed water out with my hands before towel drying the kale.


Once you have dried your kale, combine it with your parmesan cheese, garlic, and walnuts in your food processor. Mix together. NOTE: the garlic is very strong, so I would omit the garlic if you aren’t a big garlic fan already.


Slowly add in your olive oil. The, add in your lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.


Taste your pesto (this is the best part) and then set it aside. Cook your gnocchi. I used packaged gnocchi this time because we had it in our pantry, but making gnocchi from scratch is very fun and easy. Here is a simple gnocchi recipe if you want to try it yourself!


Finally, fold your pesto into your gnocchi. I say fold because the gnocchi is often very soft and fragile and you don’t want to damage it. Enjoy your lovely dinner!!!!



1 medium bunch of kale, center ribs & stems removed

kosher salt

1 garlic clove, crushed (or omit)

1/4 C finely grated parmesan

1/4 C toasted walnuts

1/2 C olive oil

1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice

fresh ground black pepper

xo – anna