When I received a food processor a few Christmases ago, I never realized just how much I’d use it. I have far too many appliances for my tiny kitchen, and a few too many collecting dust, but my food processor may as well live on my countertop. There just seem to be endless uses for it – homemade nut butters, hummus, raw cookie dough bites, and pesto- so much pesto. Just like my food processor, there are so many ways to use pesto, and countless versions. Although I still frequently go back to my avocado pesto, this is definitely a new favorite- somewhat a blend of tapenade, bruschetta, and pesto. Instead of using this as a pasta sauce, I like it best spread on crackers or cucumber, with fresh tomato, basil, or arugula.
This pesto is hearty and flavorful, but without the cheese. I used a combination of kale, basil, sunflower seeds, kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, lemon, and olive oil to create a tangy but earthy taste and texture. This was first inspired by a spread I saw on an a burger from the Oh She Glows cookbook, but I made my variation with a bit more substance and flavor, so it can stand on its own as an appetizer or light meal. A perfect classy but healthy addition to your next dinner party or just a lovely snack to enjoy in the afternoon sun!
- 2 cups torn kale leaves
- 1 cup basil leaves
- 1/2 lemon (juice)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (note: if you buy oil-packed, be sure to drain most of the oil, and if you buy them dried, soak them in warm water for 30 min and then drain before use)
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Place greens, lemon juice, and olive oil in a food processor and pulse to combine, until pureed.
- Add in sundried tomatoes, kalamata olives, and sunflower seeds and pulse until mixed well (some pieces are fine- I like the texture, personally)
- Transfer to bowl and season if desired.
- Serve on crackers with tomato, avocado, arugula, and/or basil, or on slices of cucumber with tomato. Enjoy!