Elevate your dishes with the vibrant flavors of Vegan Kale Pumpkin Seed Pesto. This raw blend combines nutrient-rich kale, earthy pumpkin seeds, zesty garlic, and nutritional yeast for a delightful dairy-free twist. Gently processed with olive oil and lemon juice, this versatile pesto offers a burst of freshness and can be used as a dip, spread, or sauce. Whip up a batch to add a burst of color and taste to your culinary creations. With a yield of about 1 to 1.5 cups, this recipe provides approximately 8 to 12 servings, making it perfect for sharing or savoring over multiple meals.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Does lemon make kale less bitter?
Yes, lemon juice can help reduce the bitterness of kale. The acidity in lemon juice can balance out the bitter taste and provide a refreshing and bright flavor to your dishes. When making kale-based recipes like pesto, adding lemon juice can help mellow the bitterness and create a more well-rounded and enjoyable taste.
What are serving suggestions for Kale and Pumpkin Seed Pesto
- Pasta Sauce: Toss the pesto with your favorite cooked pasta, whether it’s spaghetti, linguine, or a gluten-free alternative, for a vibrant and flavorful pasta dish.
- Zucchini Noodles: Use the pesto as a sauce for raw or lightly sautéed zucchini noodles (zoodles) for a nutritious and refreshing twist on pasta.
- Salad Dressing: Mix the pesto with a bit of extra olive oil and use it as a dressing for salads. It adds a burst of flavor and nutrition to your greens.
- Sandwich Spread: Spread the pesto on sandwiches or wraps as a flavorful and vibrant condiment.
- Bruschetta: Top toasted slices of baguette with a dollop of pesto for a tasty appetizer.
- Roasted Vegetables: Drizzle the pesto over roasted vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, or cauliflower to add a pop of color and flavor.
- Grain Bowls: Add a spoonful of pesto to grain bowls or Buddha bowls to infuse them with a burst of taste and nutrition.
- Dip: Serve the pesto as a dip for raw vegetables, crackers, or breadsticks.
- Pizza Sauce: Use the pesto as a pizza sauce alternative for a unique and delicious pizza topping.
- Stuffed Vegetables: Fill bell peppers, mushrooms, or other vegetables with the pesto and bake for a flavorful and nutrient-packed side dish.
- Marinade: Use the pesto as a marinade for tofu, tempeh, or plant-based protein before grilling or baking.
- Stir Into Soups: Swirl the pesto into soups just before serving to add a burst of fresh flavor.
What raw dishes can I make with Kale and Pumpkin Seed Pesto?
If you want to keep it raw, there are many dishes and ways to serve this sauce. Here’s some suggestions:
- Zucchini Noodles with Pesto: Toss raw zucchini noodles (zoodles) with the pesto for a refreshing and nutritious raw pasta dish.
- Raw Veggie Wraps: Spread the pesto onto large collard green or lettuce leaves, then fill with your favorite raw veggies and wrap them up for a healthy and flavorful lunch.
- Raw Pesto-Stuffed Tomatoes: Hollow out cherry tomatoes or larger tomato halves and fill them with the pesto for a bite-sized appetizer.
- Raw Pesto-Stuffed Bell Peppers: Fill halved bell peppers with the pesto and serve as a colorful and flavorful side dish.
- Raw Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms: Fill mushroom caps with the pesto and serve them as an elegant appetizer.
- Raw Pesto Avocado Boat: Scoop out the flesh of an avocado, leaving a well in the center, and fill it with the pesto for a satisfying and creamy raw dish.
- Raw Pesto Salad: Toss the pesto with a variety of raw chopped vegetables, such as cucumbers, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and red onion, for a vibrant and nutrient-packed salad.
- Raw Pesto Nori Rolls: Spread the pesto onto nori sheets and fill with julienned vegetables, avocado, and other desired fillings, then roll them up for delicious raw sushi rolls.
- Raw Pesto Stuffed Cucumbers: Hollow out cucumber halves and stuff them with the pesto for a refreshing and light appetizer.
- Raw Pesto Dip Platter: Serve the pesto as a dip alongside an assortment of raw veggies, crackers, and raw flaxseed crackers for a colorful and flavorful appetizer platter.
Can Kale and Pumpkin Seed Pesto be made ahead of time?
Yes, you can definitely make raw kale pumpkin seed pesto ahead of time. Preparing the pesto in advance allows the flavors to meld and intensify, resulting in a more delicious and flavorful sauce. Here’s how you can do it:
- Make the Pesto: Follow the recipe instructions to prepare the raw kale pumpkin seed pesto. Blend the ingredients until smooth and well combined.
- Transfer to a Container: Transfer the pesto to an airtight container. Make sure the container is clean and dry to prevent any moisture from affecting the pesto’s quality.
- Cover and Store: Seal the container tightly and store it in the refrigerator. The pesto can be refrigerated for up to 4-5 days.
- Layer of Olive Oil: To help preserve the color and freshness of the pesto, you can pour a thin layer of olive oil on top before sealing the container. This helps create a barrier and prevents the pesto from oxidizing.
- Using the Pesto: When you’re ready to use the pesto, simply give it a good stir to recombine any separated ingredients. If the pesto has thickened in the refrigerator, you can add a little olive oil to reach your desired consistency.
Making the raw kale pumpkin seed pesto ahead of time is a fantastic way to streamline your meal preparation and have a versatile and flavorful sauce on hand for various dishes. Whether you’re using it as a pasta sauce, a spread, or a dip, having pre-made pesto makes mealtime more convenient and enjoyable.
Kale and Pumpkin Seed Pesto (Raw)
- 2 cups packed kale leaves, stems removed
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas), raw
- 2 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast (optional)
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Blend Ingredients: In a food processor, combine the kale leaves, raw pumpkin seeds, minced garlic, nutritional yeast, and lemon juice.
- Pulse and Scrape: Pulse the ingredients a few times to start breaking them down. Scrape down the sides of the food processor as needed to ensure even blending.
- Stream in Olive Oil: With the food processor running, gradually stream in the extra virgin olive oil. Continue blending until the mixture reaches your desired consistency. You can make it smooth or slightly chunky, depending on your preference.
- Season and Taste: Taste the pesto and season with salt and pepper to your liking. Adjust the garlic, lemon juice, and nutritional yeast if desired.