When Brian and I went to Italy, one of our favorite memories was the Italian cooking class we were able to take.
We made LOTS of delicious pesto, and thankfully Daniella (our wonderful instructor) gave us the recipe to take home with us.
One thing Daniella (our FABULOUS instructor) mentioned when we were learning how to make delicious Italian pesto is that the recipe for pesto is simply a formula, and we could substitute any greens in place for the basil and any nut in place of the pine nuts. The moment she told me this, the wheels in my head started turning…
Now, I know that cooking class took place SEVERAL months ago, but this past weekend I FINALLY got to experiment with Daniella’s beloved pesto recipe. I wanted to make a pesto that was delicious, AND nutrient packed. When it comes to nutrient packed foods, I instantly think of GREENS and when I think of nutrient packed greens my mind immediately goes to KALE.
Kale is high in Calcium, Vitamin K, Vitamin C and a whole other slew of good-for-you vitamins and minerals, so I knew that kale would be the perfect swap for the basil in this pesto recipe.
Now, I absolutely adore parmesan cheese (especially from Italy) but after recently completing the Whole 30 challenge, I am increasingly interested in creating recipes that are super CLEAN and super tasty so I decided to omit the parmesan. Now, I promise you that you will not miss the parmesan in this tasty recipe…it’s Brian approved 😉
Oh! And…I made a sun dried tomato version of the recipe too!
**For the sun dried tomato pesto I simply took a small jar of sun dried tomatoes packed in oil and added the tomatoes (minus the oil) to half of the original kale pesto. You may need to add a little more oil to get things going in the food processor, but all you need to do is pulse until the pesto has reached the desired consistency.
Brian and I absolutely LOVED putting this pesto on top of a salmon fillet. Literally, that is all you do! Spread the salmon on the pesto and bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes (or until the salmon is flaky).
You can also use the pesto as a veggie dip, cracker spread, or whatever else you can imagine. Get creative!
Based on this post, here are a few similar ones you should check out.
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Love the sun-dried tomato kale version!
It is so good 🙂 I love the sweetness of the tomatoes.
Looks fantastic, Tara! I don’t know why, but everytime I see a dish topped w/ pesto of some sort, I always think of face masks. LOL
I’m not a huge salmon lover, but I enjoy pesto on tuna or tossed in wheat pasta. I’ll have to give these recipes a try soon.
I’m sure this would be great in a tuna salad or with some whole wheat pasta…I’m thinking of putting it with some spaghetti squash! 🙂
This sounds so good! I am not really a salmon fan,
But I think I would love the pesto on chicken!
I didn’t know you went to Italy! Did you and Brian plan your trip on your own or did you use a travel agent?
I’m sure it would be great on Chicken!! 🙂 Brian and I went to Italy this past summer on our honeymoon. We kind of did a hybrid trip, as we used the travel agent for 2 of the 3 lodging needs we had and he booked our flights, but all of the stuff in between was us!! You can check out more detailed posts under the wedding section in the menu. Are you planning a trip to Italy!?
These look phenomenal!!! 🙂 Especially on the salmon. Question though, would pesto be considered pesto if you DIDN’T use nuts/seeds?
Hmmmm…not sure!! THis has pine nuts in it, though, so I still consider it pesto 🙂