Green olive & kale pesto, two ways

ISome days I practically live on olives. When I gave up refined foods and lost a lot of bothersome weight a few years back, olives became a regular staple at home. When this olive-kale pesto came out extra delicious with dried kale, instead of fresh, I nibbled and nibbled until it vanished. If you don't have dried kale on hand, don't worry because a fresh olive-kale version is also very good.


Olive and kale-chip pesto

To make 1/2 cup
8 large seedless green olives chopped (you can leave in a few pimientos, but remove any other fillings and seeds).
3 Tb. of dehydrated minced kale or unsalted kale chips (fresh kale works fine and makes a pretty good pesto. Dried kale is more tender and uniquely earthy, worth the time to make).
6 Tb. olive oil

To make olive and kale-chip pesto,

Blend kale-chips, oil and chopped olives in a food processor. Allow pesto to rest for 10 minutes to soften the dehydrated kale. To garnish: peel and insert a whole or sliced garlic clove for subtle and no-fuss flavor enhancer. This is a great spread for ripe tomatoes, and a bit of fresh watercress. I don't salt this pesto at all, as it is already quite salty from the olive brine, but red pepper would be a natural touch.
Blend and allow 10 minutes to rehydrate kale. Serve on Roma tomato wedges, flax crackers, or with farm house eggs. I had all of the above, and it was a lovely meal indeed.


To make the kale-chips,

Kale chips can made in advance for this recipe, allow 24 hours. They keep amazingly well and are fun to stir into various dishes. To mince kale quickly, blend kale with water in a standard blender, then drain off the water. Let dry at 95-degrees for 24 hours in a dehydrator (standard oven at 110-degrees, 3-4 hours with door part open.) Keeps well for many weeks in a jar, and I sometimes enhance mine with a few drops of Flax oil before the drying process.

Olive-Kale pesto with nuts


To make 3/4 cup:

12 large green olives stuffed with pimentos
1/2 cup pecans or other sweet nut
1 cup loosely packed, torn kale leaves
1-2 Tbs. olive oil
Red pepper, optional

Process nuts in a food processor until they are a medium-fine meal. Add olives and kale leaves and pulse the food processor until all ingredients are mixed and chopped fine. Add olive oil in a stream while food processor is running, until mixture is a paste. Use a little more oil if necessary. Add a pinch of crushed red pepper for spice and warmth.

• Use as a dip for raw vegetable platter
• Spoon into a hollowed out cherry tomato as an appetizer
• Roll up in baked potato skins for a cooked treat
• Serve as a sauce for a white fish dish

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