[Foodie Friday Recipe] Herbed Kale Pesto Salad

This simple, healthy, and delicious kale pesto salad is addictive!

If you’re looking to add both flavor and nutrition to your meals, herbs are the answer! Most herbs tend to be high in a wide range of antioxidant vitamins and other nutrients. Although they can be expensive to buy at the store, most of them are surprisingly easy to grow – even in a simple pot on your windowsill. The delicious herbed kale salad below is a great example of a super-simple, delicious, and healthy recipe that’s easy to make and that will get even your picky eaters to eat their vegetables! You can tailor the recipe to your preferences by switching up the nuts and seeds, or try adding diced apple for sweetness and crunch.

Enjoy the below recipe as a side salad with a meal, or, for a filling and healthy lunch or light supper, add chickpeas or other beans or protein of your choice.

Herbed Kale Pesto Salad

Serves: 6 as a side salad; 2-3 as a main course with protein
Prep Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 Bunch Basil (with flowers!)
  • 1 Bunch Parsley
  • 12 Stalks Kale
  • 1-2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Cup Raw Almonds (or substitute sunflower seeds or chopped walnuts)
  • 1/2 Cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Lemon (juice & rind)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1/4 Cup Nutritional Yeast or finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • Optional: 6 Stems Sorrel
  • Optional: 1-2 Cups cooked chickpeas, or other beans or diced protein of your choice


  1. Remove kale stems and ribs, finely chiffonade leaves, and place in a large salad bowl.
  2. Remove bright yellow layer of rind from one half of the lemon and save.
  3. Squeeze juice of whole lemon onto kale.
  4. Pour olive oil over kale, add a pinch of salt, and massage greens, gently squeezing and kneading until tender. Raw kale is not only hard to chew but is hard on your digestive system. Massaging with lemon, oil, and salt breaks the kale down, giving it a cooked texture but maintaining the bright, fresh flavor. The mixture should feel VERY wet. When you add all the other ingredients, they will soak up the extra oil and lemon.
  5. Dice parsley and carefully chiffonade basil so it doesn’t bruise.
  6. Mince garlic and almonds together. If you have a chopper that can dice the parsley, garlic, and almonds together, it’s a quick shortcut.
  7. Combine all ingredients including nutritional yeast with kale. Mix well. If you’re a dairy eater and you have finely grated Parmesan on hand, that’s a quick replacement for the nutritional yeast.
  8. OPTIONAL: If you have sorrel, chiffonade and add to the salad for extra zing. This will add more sourness to the salad.
  9. Salt & pepper to taste.
Recipe Source: GrowYourOwnVegetables.org



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