| | | |

Kale Pistachio and Feta Pesto

Another weeknight wonder, Kale, Pistachio and Feta Pesto for a spin on the traditional Basil Pesto. The flavor of this pesto is bright and garlicky. Kale and toasted pistachios temper the Feta cheese. Mix with your favorite pasta or slather onto chicken breasts or fish for a flavor bomb that comes together within 10 minutes. Hello easy dinner 👋🏼

kale pistachio feta pesto on spaghetti in black bowl

What is Pesto?

Pesto is a gift to the world from Italy. The authentic basil based pesto is typically our first introduction and the most widely available. For most of us, this is our initial taste into the pesto world. Today, modern combinations break tradition as pesto is transformed into boundless combinations for every taste. Even within Italy, there are several versions of pestos that include a main ingredient, a cheese, garlic, olive oil and a variety of nuts. Here, I use curly, purple Kale with toasted Pistachios, briny Feta cheese, good olive oil, fresh garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper and the result is a really bold pesto that brings a basic package of pasta to life. And all in about 20 minutes too which is a weeknight win.

Easiest way to make Pesto

I salute those who like to tackle Pesto making the traditional way; with a mortar and pestle. Something I’d like to try someday, but for me and a busy weeknight, a food processor is a gift. I have an old school Cuisinart that I’ve had for 20 years but I know many people get the same great results with bullet type blenders. Use whatever you have that can blend and grind the ingredients into a sauce.

What’ll you need for this recipe is about 1/2 a bunch of any Kale, 3/4 cup of freshly crumbled Feta cheese, 4 cloves of garlic, 1/2 cup of raw pistachios, 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil, a few tablespoons of water, a couple of squeezes of lemon, salt and pepper. Secondly, I suggest prep ingredients as they all go into the food processor and total processing is about 5 minutes.

Let’s toast the pistachios first. In a nonstick pan, over medium heat, place pistachios and stir until fragrant and toasted. The toasting process takes about 5-8 minutes and the best way to test them is to taste them. With a spoon, remove a pistachio and allow to cool enough to taste. It should be warm, and a bit crispy. The pistachios should also smell fragrant and well, with a slight toasted smell. Now remove them from the heat source and from the pan onto a bowl to allow to cool.

Wash and dry the kale. Next, remove the kale leaves from its stems and place into the food processor. Second, add toasted pistachios, feta, garlic, squeeze of lemon juice, salt and pepper. Now pulse until smooth, stopping in between to scrape sides of food processor bowl. If pesto is too thick, add 1 tbsp of water at a time to thin out to desired consistency. Taste for lemon, salt and pepper, adjust if necessary. Pulse the pesto until consistent and smooth, about 1 more minute or so.

kale pistachio feta pesto in bowl with ingredients around the bowl
Kale pistachio and feta pesto ready to coat some pasta

How to use Pesto

Pesto is also a chameleon of sorts. Besides coating your favorite pasta with this delicious pesto, it’s a great add on to chicken breasts, your favorite grain bowl, slather on salmon or swordfish and feel free to cook up some jumbo shrimp and toss with pesto liberally. Also, one of my favorites ways is to spread it onto a sandwich, like my Grilled Vegetable Sandwich with Asiago and Pesto. Options are as endless and your creativity.

Enjoy!

Inspired by this recipe? Make sure to mention us or tag us on Instagram or Pin this recipe for later.  All content and photographs ©Claudia’s Table and claudiastable.com

kale pistachio feta pesto on spaghetti in black bowl

Kale Pistachio and Feta Pesto

Ana P @ Claudia’s Table
March 25, 2022
The flavor of this is bright and garlicky. Kale and toasted pistachios temper the Feta cheese. Mix with your favorite pasta or slather onto chicken breasts or fish for a flavor bomb that comes together within 10 minutes. 
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Processing 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American, Italian, Mediterranean
Servings 8
Calories 161 kcal

Equipment

  • food processor or bullet type blender

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup Kale, about 1/2 bunch, stems removed packed
  • 3/4 cup feta cheese block, fresh crumbled
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, raw
  • 1/3 cup good olive oil extra virgin
  • 4 cloves garlic roughly chopped
  • 2-4 tbsp water
  • 1/2 whole lemon squeeze of
  • salt kosher, pinch
  • pepper pinch
  • crushed red pepper for serving
  • feta cheese finely crumbled for serving

Instructions
 

Toast pistachios

  • In a nonstick pan, over medium heat, toast pistachios and stir until fragrant and toasted. The toasting process takes about 5-8 minutes and the best way to test them is to taste them. With a spoon, remove a pistachio and allow to cool enough to taste. It should be warm, and a bit crispy. The pistachios should also smell fragrant and well, with a slight toasted smell.
  • Remove them from the heat source and from the pan onto a bowl to allow to cool. 

How to make the pesto

  • Wash and dry the kale. Next, remove the kale leaves from its stems and place into the food processor. 
  • Second, add toasted pistachios, feta, garlic, squeeze of lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  • Now pulse until smooth, stopping in between to scrape sides of food processor bowl.
  • If pesto is too thick, add 1 tbsp of water at a time to thin out to desired consistency.
  • Taste for lemon, salt and pepper, adjust if necessary.
  • Pulse the pesto until consistent and smooth, about 1 minute or so. 
  • If serving with pasta, cook pasta to package directions. Before draining, reserve 1 cup of pasta water. Drain pasta and place back in pot.
  • Add enough pesto along with a few tablespoons of reserved pasta water until full coated and saucy.
  • Top with a few more crumbles of feta, crushed red pepper and a squeeze of lemon.

Notes

Nutrition

Serving: 2tbspCalories: 161kcal

Nutritional information is calculated online and should be used as a guide.

Keyword 30 minute dinner, easy pasta recipe, pesto, vegetarian

All content and photographs ©Claudia’s Table and claudiastable.com

Share the Love on PinterestFollow @claudiastable or pin for later !

Check out our New & Delicious posts below

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating