Last fall Mr. J found a recipe for roasted kale pesto that he served over pork chops and polenta. I loved it and figured the pesto would be great for pasta salad.
1 head of kale
1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup walnuts
2 tbs lemon juice
3 tbs Parmesan
1/2 pound pasta
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Tear the kale off the stems and spread onto a sheet pan.
Drizzle with olive oil, salt & pepper.
Bake for 5 minutes, check and flip being careful not to let it burn. Cook for another 3 minutes.
Transfer into a food processor with walnuts, lemon juice, Parmesan, salt, and pepper.
Blend until smooth while slowly streaming in the olive oil until you reach your desired thickness.
Let cool. Boil salted water for the pasta. Cook until al dente and drain.
Toss with the pesto.
Refrigerate over night, or at least 8 hours.
Toss with a drizzle of oil if it is too dry.
I loved this. It could easily be a cool meal for some hot-weather. The pesto is unbelievable. I love this pesto but I think it blows regular pasta salad out of the water. That creamy mayo-heavy sweet pasta salad has nothing on this.
I couldn’t believe how much the color changed. The flavor deepens with time.