Kale + Mint + Cashew Pesto

You know how people have secret recipes? Or a secret ingredient in a special recipe?


Well I think I just made my first secret ingredient recipe.


And I’m going to share it with you!


It won’t really be a secret. But if I were ever to have a secret recipe, this would have been it.


The very secret ingredient in this pesto? It’s mint!


I don’t think I’ll ever want pesto another way.


Making this was two things: random and kind of scary.


Let’s start with random. I’ve never really made pesto before because I don’t have a food processor and I didn’t think my blender could handle it. But I’ve wanted to make it for so long, so I just crossed my fingers that my blender would work and went for it!


This pesto happened because I had a bunch of random ingredients to use that I thought would make a good pesto. Cashews I bought to have as a snack that never happened. Mint I bought to use in something else but forgot what it was that I was going to make. Kale that I wanted to use for a salad but I thought tasted weird in that particular salad. A half of a lemon left over from making this dressing. This might be good, I thought.


I wasn’t sure. Like I said above, I was a little scared. Sure, a little scared that my blender wouldn’t pull through and make a smooth pesto. But, even more scared about serving Greg pesto with mint in it. He doesn’t like minty things. Things like mint ice cream or mint chocolate anything or mint tea. He says something like “the only thing mint belongs in is gum.”

So, putting mint in his pesto? I wasn’t so sure.


It was sort of like when I was afraid to give him a quesadilla with cream cheese, knowing he doesn’t like cream cheese. That turned out well, and I hoped that this did too.


I used this pesto for Greg and I very simply. I made our favorite noodles (spinach spaghetti noodles) and tossed together the noodles, pesto and some reserved cooking water. I topped the noodles with a sprinkle of Romano cheese. It was divine. Simple and delicious. A ton of flavor from the pesto.


And, Greg liked it. After he said he liked it, I told him there was mint in it. 🙂


The mint adds a hint of freshness to this pesto. It doesn’t stand out too much, but when you taste the pesto, it’s like there is something in it that is so refreshing, and of course that is the mint.


I hope that you enjoy this pesto. 🙂

4 cups raw kale, any variety (I used Tuscan kale)
2 small handfuls fresh mint (I used two stalks of fresh mint)
1/2 cup cashews
1 garlic clove
3/4 cup olive oil
Juice from 1/2 of a lemon
1/4 cup Romano cheese
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

To make the kale softer and easier to process or blend, blanch the kale first. Do this by preparing a bowl of very cold water. Then bring a pot of water to a boil. Once the pot of water is boiling, place the kale in it. Keep the kale in the water for about 1 minute, no longer. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the kale to the bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process. Then place the kale into a colander and squeeze it to remove any excess liquid. Transfer the kale to paper towels to dry off a bit.

Once the kale is dry, place all ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

Serve over pasta, with bread, vegetable or in quiche.


8 thoughts on “Kale + Mint + Cashew Pesto

  1. emuseats

    This looks delicious! I think all the best recipes come together haphazardly by throwing random things in a blender. At least that’s how it works for me! I’ll have to make this!

  2. Pingback: Tortellini Salad | The Dreaming Foodie

  3. Angela Haygood

    Omg this is one wonderful dish for a vegetarian like myself or not! How satisfying and the pesto pure genius! I liked it room temperature and I used Parmesan instead of Romano since I already had it on hand. Eat this!


Leave a Reply