Well let’s start with the bad news: after I played with the idea of doing a mint-pistachio pesto last week, got really excited about it, did some research, made a list, and went to the store…they were out of mint.
But you do what you can with what you have, and make the best of what’s around (that’s a Teddy Roosevelt-Dave Matthew’s quote mashup right there, folks), and even when the Giant near my house runs out of things, they never seem to run out of parsley, so I bought some. The pepitas (Mexican pumpkin seeds) were nearby, cheap, and a gorgeous green so I grabbed them too.
(And look at the nutrition facts on these guys – so much fiber and protein in just a 1/4 c! Truth be told, I didn’t notice they were roasted in oil til after I made it; not ideal but it was canola oil, which is high in monounsaturated fat)
This was entirely and experiment, but it ended up tasting amazing because I followed Sarah’s Rules of Pesto, which are:
- Choose a fresh herb
- Choose a leafy green (kale, spinach, and chard work well)
- Choose a nut or seed
- Blend with olive oil, parmesan cheese, and a clove of garlic
- Use a 2:2:1:1:1:1 ratio for the above
I have yet to find a combination that doesn’t work with this method!
So here are the star ingredients:
And the recipe:
- 1c fresh parsley leaves
- 1 c frozen kale
- 1/2 c pepitas
- 1/2 c parmesan cheese
- 1/2 c olive oil
- 1 clove raw garlic
Puree all ingredients in a blender until smooth, adding a splash of water if pesto is too thick. Serves 6 at 230 calories, 20g fat (4 sat), 5g protein, 1g fiber, 7g carb, 50% vitamin A, 30% vitamin C.
Why this recipe “works” for you: parsley is a breath-freshening herb, so it cancels out the garlic. The high amount of vitamins A&K from the parsley and kale are best absorbed with fat, provided by the pepitas and olive oil.
Enjoy on pasta, fish, chicken…in an omelet, as a layer of egg’s benedict, with crackers and cheese, roll into some turkey or spread on a sandwich….this is the condiment that goes almost anywhere!