Raw Pistachio and Kale Pesto

Recipe by: Jerry James Stone | Written January 6, 2013

I’ve always loved kale. And pesto. But growing up, I used to hate pistachios. Could not stand them. Remember how they were all dyed red?



3 Large Leaves kale
½ cup pistachios, raw and unsalted
3 Cloves garlic
¼ cup Extra Virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt

Total Time:

15 minutes

15 minutes
1 cup 
Recipe Type:
  1. Remove 1/2 cup of raw, unsalted pistachio's tough outer shell. It's okay if you want to sneak a few to eat while doing this. I did! They are so tasty. 

    NOTE: FACT: I didn't know this but during that time (I was born in 1973), pistachios were relatively new to the U.S. In fact, until the 1970s, there was no domestic pistachio industry at all. They were all imported from the Middle East. To hide blemishes found on the outer shell, importers had the nuts dyed red. Bleh! No wonder I did not like them. Well, now 96% of all pistachios purchased in the U.S. are grown right here in California and the red version is pretty much a thing of the past. As a result, I have a new found admiration for the pistachio. Dying it red was such a disservice. It's really a beautiful nut, right? All that green and purple is just gorgeous. Oh, and it is really really tasty.
  2. The great thing about this recipe is you don't have to cook the kale. Kale is amazing raw but to use it in a salad, for example, it requires some love. It's best when you massage the heck out of it first. Well, since we are going to mince it for this recipe, none of that work is needed. All you have to do is remove the center rib from 3 large leaves of kale and chop them up. 

  3. Peel 3 garlic cloves. You can use more in this recipe if you like, I like my pesto very garlicky. If I was making this for myself I would probably use 5 or 6! 

  4. Add the garlic, pistachios and some of the 1/4 cup of olive oil to your food processor run it for about a minute. I prefer a little crunch to my pesto so I do not finely chop them. Add in the chopped kale, 1 teaspoon of salt and more olive oil and repeat until the kale is minced. 

  5. Enjoy! 



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Jerry James Stone

Food pornographer, full-time vegetarian, pointy beard enthusiast, and I say 'hella' too much. Founder and creator of Cooking Stoned.

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