Hye Thyme Cafe: Kale-Mint-Almond Pesto

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Kale-Mint-Almond Pesto

Kale-Mint-Almond Pesto : Hye Thyme Cafe
I didn't actually set out to make Pesto. I had made a chicken dish the other night with kale in the filling, so the rest of the bunch was all washed and sitting in a bag in the fridge. I didn't want it to go to waste, so I decided to make and freeze some pesto. We haven't had Kale Chips in a while. I could have gone in that direction, but I also have a big pot of not so happy mint out on the deck, so I decided to combine forces and use them both in one shot. Not sure what the mint's problem is. This is the only place I've ever had a problem with it. Everywhere else I've lived, it grows like weeds and needs to be tamed. It usually wants to take over my whole yard, whether potted or in the ground.

1/2 c slivered almonds
2-3 c kale
1 c mint
juice of 1 lemon
3-4 cloves of garlic
1/2 t salt
1/2 t red pepper flakes
1/2 c fresh grated Parmesan
olive oil

Start by pulsing the almonds alone in the food processor to give them a head start, then add about half of the greens to break them down before adding the rest. Otherwise, it might not grab and will just be spinning with whatever is in the bottom of the bowl, even if you scrape it down. You may want to also trim any thick stems off the kale. I realize it's all getting processed, but I did cut off the largest stems in case they might affect the texture.

Add the garlic, salt, pepper, and Parmesan with the rest of the greens and continue to process to a texture you like, then stream in a little olive oil.


I kept this batch more on the thick side, since I don't have a particular meal in mind for it. It's better to leave it thicker and add more olive oil as you're using it if needed. There are so many different things you can use pesto for, and the thickness will vary - depending on whether you're using it in a salad dressing, on pizza, to slather on chicken breasts and bake, etc.

If you are making and freezing a batch, ice cube trays come in handy. You can freeze it in the trays until solid, then pop out the cubes into a zip-lock bag for later use. Of course, if you've got tons of ice cube trays, you can just leave them in the trays until you need them. I didn't have any free at the time and didn't want to deal with chiseling off chunks when I want them, so I grabbed some silicon cupcake liners out of the pantry. Pardon the hearts.  :)

Kale-Mint-Almond Pesto : Hye Thyme Cafe

Kale-Mint-Almond Pesto : Hye Thyme Cafe


And no, I don't normally eat pesto straight up on pita chips, but since I wasn't using it for anything at the moment, I just wanted to be able to taste it on something. I've never used kale in pesto before. I usually stick with basil, but this turned out great. I love kale, and the mint made it's presence known without being overwhelming.



  1. You've inspired me to make pesto with some of my surplus greens and herbs. Spinach and basil and who knows what else. I wish I had mint to use, it'd be interesting to try a cilantro/mint pesto and I have a ton of cilantro right now.

  2. I haven't used spinach either. That would be great! I'd love to hear how it turns out and what dishes you use it with. :)

  3. The spinach, basil and walnut pesto I made turned out great! I used vinegar instead of lemon juice, because I didn't have any and it worked out just fine, I was surprised. I'll be putting it up on my blog tomorrow. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Glad to hear it, and thank YOU for the vinegar tip. I'll have to remember that.


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