Monday, 11 May 2015

Collard Green Pesto with Kalamata Olives

     Not your traditional pesto...but then again basil can be so expensive when it's not in season. So all the more reason to use collar greens — they're cheap and they'll last you a lot longer. I like this recipe because it's a good way to use up any greens that have been sitting in the fridge and have lost a bit too much of their luster. Blitz them up and no one will ever know that they were on their way to the compost bin, at least not after you add garlic, lemon juice, kalamata olives and some quality olive oil.

     Because this pesto is so much cheaper than a normal basil pesto, you don't feel so guilty having extra sauce, after all we've got to get our greens in somewhere.

Serves: 4-10 (makes about 750mL)
Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 small bunch of collard greens (about 600g with stems)
  • 1/3 cup walnuts or pecans
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • 2 cloves of garlic, inner leaf stem removed 
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice, about half a lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup water
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large pot of boiling water, blanch collards about 2 minutes, or until bright green.
  2. Once blanched, cut away the stems, if not already done, and give the collards a rough chop.
  3. Toss collards in a food processor with all the other ingredients (yes it's that easy!), starting with the lower quantities of oil and water.
  4. Blend on low to begin, then transition to a higher speed as the pesto starts coming together.
  5. Add more oil and water until desired texture is obtained.
  6. Taste and season with salt and pepper.