We all love a kale caesar but what do you do with your kale stems when you’re done with them? Toss them?
Food waste extends far beyond your leftovers that get tossed to the back of the fridge or the orange that didn’t get eaten before it went bad.
It includes not eating root to stem and using the entire food.
Much like when you're buying beets, you buy the whole beets complete with the leafy tops. Buying the full beet allows you to use the greens for salads, pan-fry the stalks in your cast iron to add them to pasta, and then roast the beets. Shifting your mindset to think of how you can eat all your food root to stem is vital to help reduce the global problem of food waste.
While kale stalk is not our favorite part to munch on in a salad, we freeze the stems and add them to bone or veggie broth.
Now thanks to Love and Lemons, we have a new favorite use for kale stems; turn them into pesto. It was just recently that we came across this Kale Stem Pesto Recipe were over the moon for yet another way that we could use the full veggie.
We love this recipe so much that we couldn't keep it to ourselves we had to share it. We adore this recipe not only because it’s delicious but because it’s yet another way that you can reduce food waste in your home.
Kale Stem Pesto
Makes about 1 cup of pesto
1 heaping cup chopped kale stems
3 cloves of garlic
½ cup toasted walnuts or pine nuts
big handful of parsley and/or basil
juice & zest of 1 lemon
salt & pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes
¼ cup olive oil
optional - a drizzle of balsamic vinegar
optional - grated parmesan cheese
- Place stem pieces in a small pot and fill it with enough water to cover them halfway up. Toss in the garlic and a few pinches of salt. Simmer until the stems become knife-tender (about 20 minutes).
- Drain and let cool.
- In a food processor, pulse the cooked stems. Add everything else, drizzling in the olive oil at the end. Taste and adjust to your liking.