Kale Pesto

During cold weather, this is a sophisticated (and potent!) alternative to traditional basil pesto. Use pesto as dipping sauce for flatbreads such as socca or spoon over pasta, rice, gnocchi, steamed sweet potatoes, other vegetables or even baked fish.
Kale is rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and natural cancer-fighting chemicals—a real super food. This is not a low-fat recipe, but most of the fat is healthy, monounsaturated fat.
Yields about 1 1/2 cups pesto

4 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
1 bunch kale, 4-5 ounces
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2.5  ounces Parmesan, shredded or grated (about 1/2 cup)

Fold kale in half lengthwise and cut out the center rib/spine. Discard. Chop leaves coarsely. Place kale and 2 tablespoons water in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute or until kale is beginning to wilt but is still bright green. Drain.
To blender, add chopped kale, chopped garlic, and olive oil. Cover and blend, occasionally stopping blender completely to stir. (Be sure to remove spoon and replace lid before restarting!) Repeat for several minutes until kale is chopped into bits the size of cornmeal or oatmeal. (If mixture is too thick to blend, add an extra tablespoon of olive oil.) Stop the blender. Add cheese and alternate blending, stopping and stirring again until combined. Serve.

Keywords: Recipe, sauce, vegetarian, heart-healthy, gluten-free
by Jennifer Motl, RDN