Baked Mushrooms with Fresh Kale Pesto

It's almost the end of March and the weather is finally turning bright and spring-like in Northern England! That means spending lots of time in the garden, preparing new seeds and clearing veg beds. Out of all my crops last year, Kale is the one I'm most proud of. I've had at least 6 months supply, with new shoots and fresh leaves appearing continuously!

Finally it seems my kale crop is coming to an end. The tops are turning into flowers, which means it's bolted. I'll be able to harvest the seeds for this summer's planting, but I shall definitely miss picking those fresh leaves daily.  

Added to juices, blended into pesto, thrown into smoothies or simply crisped, kale is much more versatile than you might think! Plus it comes with heaps of skin benefits. 

This evenings recipe is for a very simple kale pesto. Not only does this taste great on crackers, crispy warm bread and stirred into pasta, I love to dollop it onto delicious oven-baked chestnut mushrooms. Give this one a try and tell me what you think. 

KALE PESTO

Big handful of kale leaves

10 or so basil leaves

2 tbsp olive oil (plus more for additional blending)

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

100g pine nuts

1 clove garlic

Juice of a small lemon

Pinch of salt

METHOD

Add everything to the blender and whizz together. Stop after a short while, scrape the sides down, add more olive oil if needed and blend again

I like my pesto to be fairly smooth but I don't mind a little bit of texture. Save in a jar and pop in the fridge

OVEN BAKED MUSHROOMS

4 Portobello or Large Chestnut mushrooms

Drizzle of olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 180C

Drizzle the mushrooms in olive oil and bake for 15 mins

Remove from the oven, add fresh pesto dolloped in the centre of each mushroom and return to the oven for 10-15 minutes

Spoon some toasted pine nuts on top and some fresh basil leaves. Serve warm

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