Have you ever noticed that keeping your fridge in order is a full time job? You have to keep it well stocked so you’re not running to the supermarket every 5 minutes, but not so well stocked that vegetables are slowly turning to mush in the bottom of your crisper. However it’s no good having a well stocked fridge if you can’t see what’s in there. Everything needs to be reasonably visible and logically organised so you know what needs to be eaten first and what is in danger of being thrown out (and therefore needs to be cooked quickly!). Nothing hurts me more than looking in the fruit and vegetable drawer to find that one of the cucumbers didn’t make it… into the compost it goes.
So when I get home from the market, wrap my herbs up in a damp tea towel and put them in the fridge, I promise myself that I will use them up well before they turn to green slime. This week when I noticed my basil going a little brown at the edges only a couple of days after buying it, I knew pesto was the only way to save it.
I didn’t have any pinenuts, so I used walnuts instead, and I thought I’d add some kale that I had left over from this yummy salad. The great thing about pesto is that it keeps well in the fridge, or can be frozen, and can be used for many different things. I’ve used my pesto in pasta, on fresh bread with ham, tomato and mozzarella or to give extra flavour to soups. I’ve also used it on pizza as you have here!
Kale, basil and walnut pesto
1/4 cup walnuts
4 tuscan kale leaves
1 bunch basil, leaves picked
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3/4 cup olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
1/2 cup tightly packed parmesan reggiano, grated
Salt and pepper
Place walnuts, basil, kale and garlic in a food processor and blend for a few seconds. Add about half a cup of the oil so you have a nice loose pesto. Scrape your pesto out into a bowl. Mix in the lemon and fold through the parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.
Pesto, sausage and kale pizza with chilli
1 quantity of pizza dough or pizza base
2 tbs kale, basil and walnut pesto
1 tbs cream, optional
1 x pork and fennel sausage, removed from it’s case and broken into chunks
1 red chilli, thinly sliced (I left the seeds in for more heat)
A handful of kale, thinly sliced
1/4 of an onion, thinly sliced
1 ball of buffalo mozzarella
Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees or turn the BBQ on to high heat (I cook pizza on a pizza stone in the Weber). Roll out your pizza dough and spread the pesto over the base. I add a tablespoon of cream aswell just to help thin it out a little but you can easily do without it.
Add the sausage, kale, onion and chilli to the pizza and break over the mozzarella. Cook in your pre-heated oven/BBQ until cooked and golden.
Makes 1 pizza, adjust quantities accordingly to feed more people!