Stems are underrated. Why do we only eat the leaves? There is so much nutrition in the stems of vegetables and herbs (parsley, broccoli, kale!), it’s such a waste to toss them.
If you’ve ever used kale for salads or sautés, you’ve probably had leftover stems. This recipe is a quick, easy and nutritious way to make use of your scraps. I love serving it with kelp noodles (pictured here) for a light lunch or alongside salmon or chicken. Also great with crudité.
Walnuts are high in omega 3s and protein, giving this pesto a nice nutty flavor and anti-inflammatory boost. I’ve also made this with almonds, and it came out great.
Pecorino is a great substitute for parmesan, as it’s made from sheep instead of cow’s milk, which I find a bit easier on the digestive system for anyone with diary sensitivities. If you want to make this recipe vegan (or RASA Challenge-approved), omit the cheese and add a little extra salt or nutritional yeast.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Makes about 1 cup of pesto
RECIPE: WALNUT & KALE STEM PESTO
1 cup of fresh basil, loosely packed
1 cup of kale stems (or whatever you have on hand!)
¼ cup toasted walnuts
¼ cup of olive oil
Juice from 1 lemon
1 tsp lemon zest
1 clove of garlic
Small chunk of pecorino cheese (about 1 inch)
1 tablespoon filtered water
Salt and pepper to taste
Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth. If your pesto is too thick, add a little more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you reach your desired consistency.