Kale and Red Cabbage Pesto

Saturday, 15 December 2012

I hate to put this out there but we don’t really like garlic in our pesto.  I know it’s all wrong but I always find it overwhelming and so does my husband.  Perhaps we’re vampires...?  I’ve been making pesto with kale for a long while (recipe with garlic here) but in this particular version I had some red cabbage to use up and thought I’d try chucking that in to the mix.  I find making this with hard goat cheese packs a big enough flavour punch to make up for the lack of garlic.  This is a hearty, chunky pesto that mixes perfectly in to hot pasta.  Feel free to mix in whatever vegetables or meat you like.  I was having an avocado day when I made this.
Serves 2
I tend just to throw this together without weighing anything out so take this as an approximation.
1 bunch of kale (about 2-3 leaves), finely chopped.  I used cavolo nero
½ cup sliced red cabbage
1oz toasted almonds chopped
1oz hard goats cheese or parmesan, grated
Zest ½ lemon (optional)
Approx 50ml or 2 – 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Blanch the kale and cabbage in a pan of boiling water (about 2-3 minutes).  Drain and run under the cold tap to cool.  Use a kitchen towel or a clean tea towel to squeeze out any excess water.  Place the kale, cabbage, almonds lemon zest and cheese in a food processor and blend until they come together in a kind of chunky coarse paste.  Add the olive oil in a stream with the machine running until a smoother consistency is achieved.  Mix with hot pasta.


  1. No garlic?? I think garlic is the best part of pesto! But this winter version still sounds really interesting. I bet the goat cheese keeps it super pungent too!

  2. great idea for a winter version! I like mixign up the veg/herbs I use based on what's in my fridgetoo (: but.. I NEED garlic haha.

  3. Thank you both! I didn't think I'd find many takers for the no garlic idea haha. I promise the goats cheese does give the flavours a good kick though.