Friday, 13 December 2013

Rocket & Roses Kale and Pine Nut Pesto

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Stone Temple Pilots ~ All In The Suit That You Wear
Queens of the Stone Age ~ Long Slow Goodbye
The Cranberries ~ Free To Decide (Live)
JET ~ Seventeen

The Stranglers ~ Walk On By
Anna Nalick ~ Breathe
The Police ~ Every Breath You Take
Soundgarden ~ Non-State Actor
Rod Stewart ~ You Go To My Head
Joan Jett ~ I Need Someone
Def Leppard ~ Pour Some Sugar On Me
VAST ~ Bruise 
Ethel Waters ~ Stormy Weather 
Lacuna Coil ~ I Won't Tell You

 Warning! This recipe is not for the health conscious...lol This is a High Days and Holidays Dish.

Contrary to what the rest of the world imagines...England doesn't get that much snow and if we get so much as a dusting of the white stuff...the country shuts down. lol. Wimps. As a card carrying snow addict the lack of snow saddens me...especially in the run up to the holiday season. How I would love to wake up one morning to see snow on Christmas Day...but its rare and I have long since stopped believing the Weather experts who always start speculating about its arrival about now. *sighs* During my time in the States I would get frustrated with peoples Christmas card picture of how England looks during the winter...and I confess I miss the Minnesota snowfalls. Ah well..I have the memories and the photos. 

In between bouts of super resting I have been getting in some great kitchen time...mainly cooking recipes I've printed off over the last year. But just being in the kitchen with my knives, equipment and an abundance of veggies has helped with my mental health..lol. I have been getting great Zen...and can't wait to be able to get 'bendy like a pretzel' and physically Zen too. It will happen just not this side of the holiday season. Today has been very downcast and it feels like winter..probably one of those days that other people hate. But I can find peace in the darkness but I have to be careful as it encourages me to comfort cook...lol. Today I was craving a soup that my former partner from back in the day used to cook for me. A great bean and veggie overloaded soup. It was so overloaded it could be argued that it was more of a stew...but I love a chunky soup. I did find a good recipe that was pretty close to that old soup...but I will share that tomorrow.

I have been trying in earnest to use up my sack of kale before it goes bad...and I managed to use a good couple of cupfuls in the soup but it still left me with masses so I decided to have a play with a pesto sauce. Like I warned above this sauce isn't low fat...and I would never use this recipe as an everyday pesto but it is packed with flavour and would be a great 'treat' sauce. 

One of my gripes with pesto is the harsh garlic hit you can sometimes get. Don't get me wrong..I love garlic...but raw garlic can be too overwhelming. So I decided on a first step of steaming the kale along with the garlic cloves for five minutes and it really made a difference. I didn't want to load it with vegan Parmesan either. This recipe is very simple and has just five ingredients and I hardly ever use oil without carefully measuring it out and using the bare minimum amount...but this time I allowed my instinct to kick in when I 'felt' it was enough. And that is what I advise you to do with this recipe too...its all about your personal taste. I very rarely use Pine Nuts for much of the same reason as the oil...I usually use walnuts or my absolute favourites...almonds but I had a small bag of pine nuts in my stocks and decided to go with it.

The results, which I served with a small amount of wholewheat fusilli, was very comforting. The pasta was slightly al dente, which is my preferred  texture, it held the pesto sauce to each curve and the steamed kale and garlic combined with the oil, salt and pepper seasonings made for a subtle pesto. Together it made each mouthful a wholesome but indulgent meal. I only used 2 tsp of pesto sauce and it was plenty in my opinion...and that still leaves me with a good heaped cup of pesto sauce to freeze for other meals. I hope you try it for yourself...

Rocket & Roses Kale & Pine Nut Pesto


Rocket & Roses Kale & Pine Nut Pesto                Makes 1 heaped cup of sauce
(Original recipe from the Rocket & Roses Vegan Kitchen)

2 heaped cups of kale, stalks removed and chopped down
6 small garlic cloves 
olive oil - to your own personal preference
1/2 cup of pine nuts
low sodium salt and freshly cracked black pepper to season

In a small pan lightly toast the pine nuts but don't leave them as they can burn very easily..you just want them to start to go golden and become fragrant. Remove from the pan into a dish to stop the cooking process and set to one side. 

Place the prepped kale and peeled garlic cloves into the tray of a steamer and once the water comes back to the boil..steam for 5 minutes. The kale will have wilted and the garlic softened. 

Place the kale, garlic and pine nuts into a processor or blender and pulse to break them down. Remove the lid and push the ingredients back down into the bowl of the blender and then season with the salt and the pepper. 

With the machine running drizzle oil in through the feeder until you have the consistency you prefer. Check for seasoning once more and then remove to a airtight container and store in the fridge until needed...or fridge some and freeze some. 

Enjoy! 

Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Friday is a splendid one folks...

~Red~ 



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