Basil & Kale Pesto – The Best Way to Hide Green Vegetables

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Apart from my Daily Greens Smoothie, this Basil & Kale Pesto recipe is the best way to hide dark leafy greens, and to ensure that the said dark leafy greens get eaten too!

Don’t think this applies only to children either – this works for all people, young and old, culinary adventurers and the fussy. Take my husband for example – He’d rather go without than eat a kale leaf, but in this pesto – he’s none the wiser… excitedly smearing spoonfuls on crackers, blending ribbons through scrambled egg and tossing a fresh dollop through a cheeky Sunday night pasta too.

To keep it fresh my favourite storage method is to divide in portions in an ice-cube tray and store in the freezer, on the basis that 1 cube is ample to serve 1-2 when mixed through a dish. You may, however, use a lot more if you choose to smear lashings of fresh kale pesto on warm crusty bread – hey, it’s just an idea!

If you’re still not convinced, let me also confirm that due to the ratio of basil to kale in this recipe, you can’t actually taste the kale – so yes, it truly is a winner when in comes to hiding greens!

Enjoy! x x

Makes 1 cup or 12 (ice cube tray) cubes



  • Foodprocessor
  • Jar or 12-cube capacity ice-cube tray


  • 40g pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 1 bunch (50g) basil, leaves only
  • 2-3 (50g) large kale leaves , leaf only, hard stem discarded
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 50g parmesan or pecorino, finely grated
  • 100ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)


  1. To lightly toast the pine nuts, preheat a frying pan to medium heat. Add the pine nuts (without oil) and stir occasional for 1-2 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from heat immediately to prevent burning.
  2. Add the pine nuts to a food processor and whiz until a fine nut meal is achieved.
  3. Add all other ingredient and whiz until an even consistency is achieved. Feel free to add a little extra EVOO if mixture is not moving in your machine.
  4. Use and store appropriately as per suggestions below.

Serving Suggestions

  • Use as a dip with raw vegetables or crackers
  • Spread on fresh crusty bread
  • Use it as a sandwich spread, instead of butter or margarine
  • Mix through scrabbled egg – add when egg is semi cooked
  • Toss through a green salad of green beans and baby spinach
  • Toss through pasta – this method is particularly great for fussy toddlers
  • Use as a  pizza base topping, instead of tomato sauce


  • Store in jar or airtight container in your fridge for up to one week.
  • Divide into portions in an ice-cube tray, cover with glad-wrap and store in your freezer for 3-4 weeks. Once frozen, you may transfer the cubes to an airtight container, separating layers with baking paper if required.


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