Look at this gorgeous homemade pesto! ↓
One may even say that this kale pesto is better than the rest-o. (I couldn’t resist.)
Store-bought ain’t got nothin’ on this stuff. In fact, store-bought pesto doesn’t even deserve to share the same name. There is nothing like fresh pesto and you know what? It’s so much easier to make than you think. Just a few pulses in your food processor or blender does the trick.
This kale pesto is my new favorite. It’s fantastic on grilled meats and fish, warm pasta, pizza, and especially on cold pasta salads like today’s kale pesto mozzarella pasta salad. This pasta salad takes advantage of spring and summer’s bounty with fresh basil and lots of cherry tomatoes. I love adding a little crunch with pine nuts, but chopped walnuts would be equally as fabulous especially since walnuts are in the pesto itself.
We devoured this kale pesto mozzarella pasta salad in only a few days– and there’s only 2 of us! It gets better after a day or two in the fridge because the flavors have settled, mingled, married and the pesto has seeped deep into the pasta itself. I can’t praise this recipe enough; it’s my summer anthem in the form of food.
Kale Pesto Mozzarella Pasta Salad
- 2 cups chopped kale
- 1 cup fresh basil, plus more for garnish
- 1/2 cup (65g) chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup (120ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- 2/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- juice of 1 lemon (2 Tbsp)
- 1/4 teaspoon - 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 pound dry pasta (elbow, bow tie, rotini, etc)
- handful fresh basil
- 2 cups (300g) halved cherry tomatoes
- 6 ounces mozzarella, cubed (or shredded or mozzarella balls)
- 3/4 cup (100g) pine nuts (or chopped walnuts)
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and cool for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the pesto. Combine kale, basil and walnuts in a food processor. Pulse until greens and nuts are finely chopped. Scrape down the sides, then add olive oil, parmesan, garlic, lemon juice, and salt. Start with 1/4 teaspoon and add more to taste. Run the processor until everything is blended together. Set aside.
- Stir the remaining pasta salad ingredients in with the pasta. Toss with pesto. Add more basil and pine nuts if you wish (I like lots of basil).
- Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Tastes best on day 2 or 3, so it's perfect to make ahead of time!
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PS: here are the bowls I use in this photo 🙂