Farm to Fork: Kale Pesto

Farm to Fork: Using Kale to Make Pesto

Learn a new twist on a classic sauce!

In this month’s Farm to Fork series, we are featuring a unique twist on traditional pesto. Pesto is a sauce made with garlic, pine nuts, basil leaves, parmesan cheese and olive oil. It’s commonly used on pasta or in sandwiches.

Using fresh kale from our Urban Farm, head chef Chris Hoffman tweaked the traditional recipe, creating a delicious new sauce! This recipe calls for two powerful foods: walnuts and kale. Maria Silva, SVdP’s Family Wellness Program registered dietitian, shares that walnuts are a nutrient-dense food packed with antioxidants, vitamin E, and vitamin B6. They are a great addition to meals as they help prevent age-related decline in brain function and prevent cardiovascular disease.

Commonly known as a “superfood,” kale is packed with antioxidants, and vitamins A, K and C. Including kale in your diet can help protect your vision and reduce the risk of heart disease!

Kale in urban farm

Kale Pesto


1/3 cup of toasted walnuts (or you can substitute almonds, pine nuts or the nut or seed of your choice!)
3 cups of roughly chopped kale
1 cup of loosely packed basil leaves
4 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
2 lemons, zested and juiced

Lemon zest in kale pesto


Put the walnuts, basil, kale, Parmesan cheese, salt, and lemon zest and juice in a food processor. While blending, slowly pour in the olive oil. Once all ingredients are blended to a slightly creamy consistency, taste the pesto and add additional seasonings to taste.

Add to freshly made paste or use as a sandwich spread and enjoy!

Our Family Wellness Program, which provides the nutritional information for each Farm to Fork recipe, is a culturally responsive program. Our health educators teach bilingual classes to reach more in our community. Below is the recipe in Spanish!

Pesto de col rizada


1/3 taza de almendras, piñón o nueces, la que usted prefiera. Nosotros usamos nuez de castilla
2 tazas de col rizada (kale)
1 taza de albahaca
3 dientes de ajo
1/2 cucharadita de sal
1/2 taza de queso parmesano
1/2 taza de aceite de oliva
El jugo y el zumo de 2 limones


Coloca las nueces, albahaca, col rizada, queso, sal, el zumo y jugo de los limones en una licuadora. Licua a una velocidad mediana y poco a poco agrega el aceite de oliva. Prueba y sazona al gusto.

Esta receta contiene dos alimentos poderosos: la nuez de castilla y la col rizada. La nuez de castilla contiene altos niveles de antioxidantes, vitamina E, y vitamina B6. Es un gran alimento que nos ayuda a prevenir la decaída del funcionamiento cerebral causado por la edad y previene las enfermedades cardiovasculares.

La col rizada por otra parte nos provee con alto contenido de antioxidantes, vitaminas A, K, y C. Incluir la col rizada en nuestra alimentación nos ayuda a proteger la vista y reducir enfermedades del corazón.

Kale pesto pasta

We’d love to see the dishes you prepare from our Farm to Fork series! Tag us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with your posts using #SVdPFarmtoFork.