Vegan kale pesto

I’m finally home and I couldn’t be happier about it. Of course I’ll miss some things about college, like the lake, the public transportation and my friends, but I’ve been looking forward to a summer full of recipe testing since winter break.

The worst thing about living in a dorm was the food. And sure, maybe the Northwestern food is better than a lot of colleges, but I still found myself without a variety of options. I can’t count the number of times I made quinoa bowls with the exact same ingredients or filled a tortilla with hummus, greens and sandwich meat just to avoid having to eat the poorly steamed broccoli or the “healthy” pizza.

So much of my happiness is derived from food that it’s no surprise I’m over the moon to have my own kitchen once more. And the best part of a fully equipped kitchen is access to all the appliances.


It’s therefore quite fitting that a pesto–a recipe that requires a food processor–would be one of my first projects back in my own kitchen.


The best thing about pesto, though, is its versatility. Adding a spoonful or two to a pasta dish makes it perfectly summery.



  • ¾ cup packed lacinato kale
  • ¾ cup packed fresh basil
  • ⅓ cup raw walnuts
  • 2-4 tablespoons water
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast


Add the kale, basil, walnuts and some water into a food processor and pulse until the greens are shredded.

Add the garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper and olive oil, and blend again until the pesto is uniform and smooth. Add more olive oil if necessary.

Add the nutritional yeast and pulse once more.

Store in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days.


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