¼- ½ cup chopped walnuts
•1 ½ -2 teaspoons salt
•½ pound lacinato (Tuscan) kale, stems removed, coarsely chopped (1 medium bunch should do)
•2 cloves garlic, minced
•½ cup olive oil
•½ tsp old bay seasoning
•½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
•Ground black pepper to taste
•Toast chopped walnuts in a dry, heavy skillet (such as cast iron) over high heat, stirring constantly until they start to brown and become fragrant. Alternatively, place on a baking sheet and toast at 325 degrees. Keep an eye on nuts – they burn quickly and will get bitter!
•Bring about two quarts of water to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon of the salt, then add kale. Cook, uncovered, until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from pot and drain.
•In a blender or food processor, add garlic, walnuts and drained kale and whiz until well combined. Pour in oil in a steady stream, and pulse until combined. Add ½ teaspoon salt and Old Bay Seasoning, pulse, then taste. Add remaining ½ teaspoon of salt if necessary.
•Spoon pesto into a bowl and stir in cheese and pepper.
For ½ pound pasta, use 2-3 tablespoons pesto. Keeps really well in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for up to a week.
Makes about one cup.