Organic Kale, Cilantro and Basil Pesto

Organic Kale

This week, I made my first Kale Pesto. I read about them and then once I had a fresh bunch of kale and lots of fresh harvested garlic scapes, I blended them with hemp: hemp seeds and hemp oil, some lemon infused olive oil and ume vinegar. I love pesto and have many with hemp seeds instead of the traditional pine nuts. I like hemp because of the exceptional nutritional profile: loaded with omega 3s, high in anti-oxidants, fiber, zinc, magnesium, iron, easy to digest complete protein… I could go on and on. Please email me and ask me more about why I love hemp: but for now, this blog is about pesto.

Cilantro, basil, nettle, and kale pesto are all wonderful made with hemp seeds. Vegan, non dairy, gluten-free, and vegetarian pesto are quick and easy to make, nourishing and delicious. And I love using some local, artisan, grass raised organic cheeses in my pesto, too.  In fact, when I teach and cook, I enjoy mixing and matching herbs, cheeses, nuts and seeds to make pesto based on the season and what participants want to learn and taste.

Try pesto on gluten-free quinoa macaronis, ramen, or your favorite pasta. And I have used pesto in nori rice rolls, too.

And I like my pesto thick as you can see from the photos below in my recipe for Basil Pesto that I created for Nutiva with their hemp products and while I love hemp in my Cilantro Pesto, I also have a delicious variation with sunflower seeds and almonds from my cookbook, Gluten-Free Recipes for the Conscious Cook 

Cilantro Pesto from Leslie Cerier, The Organic Gourmet's cookbook

Vegetarian Basil Hemp Seed Pesto

Pesto photos by Tracey Eller

Kale photographed by Leslie Cerier @ Brookfield Farm Biodynamic CSA in Amherst, MA

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