Parsley Kale Walnut Pesto – because fresh basil is hard to find in the winter! Use this dairy free pesto to liven up almost any dish.
I love pesto! It’s so flavorful and fresh and vibrant. I usually think of it in the summer months when fresh herbs are growing abundantly in our backyard garden. Sadly, in the winter, there is no backyard garden, and fresh herbs, like basil which is traditionally in pesto, are hard to find in the grocery store. And when you do find fresh basil during the winter, it’s usually not that good…it doesn’t smell as fragrant and doesn’t taste as quite as sweet or peppery (likely because it’s been in transit on a truck for days, if not weeks). So, what does one do when they crave pesto in the winter months? They make a not-so-traditional Parsley Kale Walnut Pesto instead.
Kale is a sturdy leafy green that actually does quite well in the colder months. It grows in our garden well into October and even November if there isn’t any snow yet. I still have to buy it from the grocery store in the wintertime, but it’s always available and inexpensive. Parsley is always hanging around the store year round as well, and in this hearty pesto, it really helps to liven up the flavors.
I never use traditional pine nuts in my pestos because I have a weird reaction to them. I will have an incredibly strong metallic taste in my mouth constantly for several days after eating them. This is apparently an actual syndrome called “pine mouth” or “pine nut syndrome” of which there is really no explanation. Joy! I often change up the nuts I use in place of the pine nuts – this time I used walnuts – but I ALWAYS add pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds). Since I’m obviously not using any cheese in this dairy free pesto (parmesan is traditional), pepitas give quite a cheesy flavor when ground up.
When summer rolls around and you can get your hands on some amazing fresh basil, you might also want to check out my Mixed Greens Almond and Pepita Pesto, it’s my absolute favorite!
Check out the sneak peak above of how I used this delicious Parsley Kale Walnut Pesto…and, no, those aren’t pasta noodles!
Parsley Kale Walnut Pesto
I hope you love this Kale Walnut Pesto as much as we do. If you try it, please come back and leave me a comment below with your feedback. You can also find me on social media. Be sure to tag @veggie_inspired and #veggieinspired so I’m sure to see it! Enjoy!
- 1 packed cup chopped kale
- 1 packed cup parsley
- 1/4 cup raw walnuts
- 1/4 cup pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 - 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 4-6 tbsp vegetable broth (or water)
- Drizzle extra virgin olive oil (optional) (omit to keep this pesto oil-free)
- Place kale, parsley, walnuts, pepitas, garlic, lemon juice, salt and 4 tbsp vegetable broth in a food processor and process until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary.
- If it needs more liquid, add more vegetable broth 1 tbsp at a time until desired consistency is reached. (I used 5 tbsp).
- Drizzle with a scant tsp of extra virgin olive oil, if using, before serving.