(Kale) Pesto is the Best-o

How you feel about kale at this moment is irrelevant.

Once you eat your first bite of kale pesto with hazelnuts, that is when your relationship with kale (and maybe your relationship with yourself) is defined.

Unlike its smooth, soft, silky cousin, basil pesto, kale pesto is chewy.  Kale pesto isn’t just a spread or a sauce; it’s a meal-maker.  The rugged mouthfeel and knockout flavor combo of the kale and hazelnut will blow you away.  Kale is in peak season right now – it’s inexpensive and it’s SO GOOD FOR YOU.  And since the flavor and texture of this pesto is going to make your little heart sing, there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t make it tonight/tomorrow/wicked soon.  Here’s how:

In a large food processor, blend:

Leaves from two bunches of kale, rinsed, dried and torn from stems;

About 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese;

About 1/2 cup hazelnuts;

2 – 3 cloves garlic;

Juice from 1/2 lemon (about 1 Tablespoon);

Big pinch salt and pepper;

Drizzle about 3/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil into the mixture while pulsing.

Kale Pesto is great on: toasted English muffins with a fried egg in the morning, spread atop any sandwich or bagel, dollopped into any broth-based soup (e.g., chicken soup, vegetable soup), and of course, on any pasta, my favorite being the roasted butternut squash ravioli above.  My advice?  Make a couple of batches:  you’re going to want to eat this with a spoon.

Pumpkin Pie

We are hosting Thanksgiving again this year, and I keep asking my family, “What’s the one thing without which it just wouldn’t be Thanksgiving?” Funny thing is, they all say things other than PUMPKIN PIE. That’s what it is for me!  I posted this pretty pie glamour shot for the sake of trying to be a better blogger…and here’s how I made the leaves, so that you can pretty up your pumpkin pies, too.

But the truth is that in my mind’s eye, this is what a real pumpkin pie looks like:

Made in a jelly roll pan (or half sheet pan) with a huge filling to crust ratio (I like the “middle” pieces), this is the pumpkin pie of my childhood, and of Thanksgivings, past, present and future. Nine inch round pies just won’t do for 30-50 people… you’d have to make too many.  So this is the way my mom always makes it. And this is how I gobble it, literally for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This year, we (alright I) just haven’t been able (or willing) to wait for November to break out the sheet pan pumpkin pies. My mom’s been making them, at my request, for weeks.

You haven’t lived until you’ve had two slices of homemade sheet pan pumpkin pie for breakfast with your coffee, on a cool, damp October morning. It makes mornings awesome. It makes life awesome. Try it; you’ll see.

Oh and here’s the recipe!  

Like many secret family recipes that have been around since the 1950’s, this one comes directly from the can! Pay attention to brand here: you want Libby’s pumpkin, and you want to be sure that the can you’re buying is 100% pure pumpkin.  Believe it or not, some brands will sell you “squash” instead of “pumpkin” if you’re not careful.

Libby’s 29 ounce can (and the recipe on the back of it) makes two nine inch pies or one half sheet pan pie (but they don’t tell you that part), so if you’re just making one nine inch round pie, halve it. But why would you, when the universe wants you to make and eat sheet pan pie now that you know how!?

For my mother’s recipe (or should I say, the recipe on the Crisco can) for scratch crust, click here.


It’s  easy as pie. See what I did there. Enjoy!