Here's a delightful recipe that puts a creative spin on the traditional basil pesto. Basil can be quite expensive when you require a substantial quantity, but by incorporating kale, you can craft a lovely pesto that's more budget-friendly.
Serves 8 people
1 French baguette
2 cups kale leaves, stems removed and roughly chopped
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1 cup fresh parsley leaves
1 cup frozen sweet peas
1 cup toasted walnuts
5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tsp garlic herb seasoning (or Italian herb seasoning)
1 tsp salt (adjust to taste)
½ teaspoon black pepper (adjust to taste)
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
1 ½ cups extra-virgin olive oil (plus more if needed)
25-30 large shrimp, peeled and deveined with the tail-on
2 tbsp Cajun seasoning
1 tbsp Old Bay seasoning
1tsp garlic powder
2 tablespoons olive oil (for shrimp)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
Toast Baguette: Preheat your oven to 350°F. Slice a French baguette into 1" thick slices. Place the baguette slices on a baking sheet in a single layer. Lightly brush each slice with olive oil. Toast for about 5-10 minutes, or until the bread reaches your desired level of crispness and light golden brown color. Keep a close eye on them, as they can toast quickly. Remove and set aside.
Toast the Walnuts: Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast them for about 5 minutes after the baguettes are done. Make sure to keep an eye on them as they can burn quickly. Once toasted, remove, and let cool.
Blanch the Kale: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Prepare a bowl of ice water. Remove the stalks from the kale and blanch the chopped leaves for about 1-2 minutes until they turn bright green. Immediately transfer the blanched kale to the ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain and pat dry.
Blend the Ingredients: In a food processor, combine the blanched kale, fresh basil, fresh parsley, toasted walnuts, garlic cloves, grated Parmesan cheese, garlic herb seasoning, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Pulse the mixture a few times to combine. With the food processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the pesto reaches your desired consistency. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides of the food processor to ensure all the ingredients are well incorporated. If the pesto is too thick, add more olive oil. Taste the pesto and adjust the seasoning if needed. Add more salt, pepper, or red pepper flakes according to your preferences.
Shrimp: Pour 2 tbsp of olive oil over shrimp. Season the shrimp with Cajun seasoning, Old Bay seasoning, and garlic powder. Gently massage the seasoning into the shrimp. In a large skillet or medium-high heat, add the shrimp in a single layer. Cook each side for 2-3 minutes or until they turn pink.
When serving: Add about 1 tbsp (more if desired) of pesto to the toasted baguettes. Top each with a cherry tomato slice and one shrimp. Serve warm.
Now you have something cooked from the SOUL. Serve it to the CULTURE!