Fast & Fabulous: Lemony Collard Green & Kale Pesto!

“I do not like broccoli. And I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m President of the United States and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli.” – George H. W. Bush

This post is dedicated to my fellow wine and food lovers who, like myself, are not big fans of green veggies. Growing up, the mere sight of mushy broccoli, rubbery green beans or watery wads of spinach would immediately trigger my gag reflex. Over the years, however, as my palate has become more adventurous I’ve discovered a variety of ways to prepare vegetables so that I not only tolerate them, I really enjoy them! This recipe for Lemony Collard Green & Kale Pesto is one such dish that will have all you veggie-phobes out there not only tolerating these leafy greens but coming back for more!

Collard greens and kale are dark, leafy greens that belong to the cruciferous family of vegetables which also includes broccoli and cauliflower. Both are incredibly nutritious and chock full of vitamins A, K, B and C; minerals including potassium, iron, calcium and zinc; and plenty of fiber. They are also very sturdy greens with distinct textures and flavors. Kale has a frilly, ruffled leaf and a nutty flavor while collards have a broad, flat leaf and more of an earthy taste. Because of their distinct flavors I was a little wary of this recipe but I promise you, when prepared in this method you don’t taste any of the pungent greens, only lemony, cheesy deliciousness perfect for crowning your favorite dish of pasta! I used a delicious egg tagliatelle but any hearty pasta will work with this pesto.


To pair with the Lemony Collard Greens & Kale Pesto, I chose the lovely Anne Amie Cuvée A Müller-Thurgau ($16) from Oregon’s Willamette Valley. This white wine’s bright, lemony flavors and food-friendly acidity complemented the dish beautifully. Alternatively, a nice Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc would work deliciously well with this dish too.

I’d love to hear what you fellow veggie-phobes think of this dish. I’ve made it three times in the past month and keep going back for more so I sincerely hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Bon Appétit,



“Lemony Collard Greens & Kale Pesto”
Serves 2-4

3 packed cups of collard greens, stems removed & chopped
3 packed cups of kale, stems removed & chopped
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
1/4 cup good olive oil
1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes or to taste
1 Tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

1.) Add collard greens and kale to a boiling pot of salted water and cook for 1 minute. Drain and rinse greens under cold running water and when cool enough to handle, squeeze out any remaining water in the greens.
2.) Roughly chop the greens and add to bowl of food processor along with the garlic, olive oil, peanuts, Parmesan, lemon zest and lemon juice. Pulse until ingredients are mixed well, but still retain a chunky texture. If you need to thin the pesto at all, use some of the water you cooked the pasta in to do so. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3.) Toss the pesto with your favorite pasta and garnish with additional Parmesan and red pepper flakes.

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