Collard Green & Olive Pesto

As you know, I have an affinity for unusual pestos, but this collard green pesto may be the oddest I’ve ever made. I came across this early last summer, after searching for collard green recipes. I had received such an abundance from my CSA and was flat out of ideas. After a few rounds and few tweaks, it quickly became a favorite and I found myself anxiously awaiting the fall harvest of collards. I find it interesting that a pesto recipe with no basil and no cheese still tastes like, well, pesto.

Now, if you are not an olive lover, this recipe is probably not for you. I mean, it is called Collard Green & OLIVE pesto, right? However, if I have scared you, you could decrease the olives, and taste from there. The olives bring a wonderful saltiness, that I happen to love. But since 90% of what I cook is savory, that is not a surprise. Here I enjoyed the pesto on a panini with roasted red peppers, red onions and lettuce, and have leftover pesto to enjoy later in the week.

Collard Green & Olive Pesto
adapted from Gourmet

6 large collard green leaves, center stems removed
12-15 large pitted Greek olives (I used green and a few kalamata)
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 c water

1 t balsamic vinegar
3 T pine nuts
1/3 c sun-dried tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1/4 t black pepper
1/2 t salt
1/3 c olive oil

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add collards, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a colander to drain, pressing to extract excess water. Coarsely chop. In a food processor, blend olives and garlic until finely chopped. Add collards, water, vinegar, pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes, cayenne, pepper and salt, and pulse until well chopped. With motor running, add oil in a slow stream, until well blended. Season to taste.


→lisa said...

This looks so good! I really, really wish my boyfriend would eat olives...boo.

I'll have to make it for myself while he's at work ;)

Dana said...

Life without olives wouldn't be life for me. This is a great way to get some of those super healthy greens in!

Becca said...

I'm not an olive fan but my father-in-law is, so I definitely need to try this! Yum!

Cori said...

If loving olives is wrong, I don't wanna be right.

What an unusual pairing! I think I kind of love it!

Bri said...

That looks delicious. You have an AWESOME blog. Thanks for sharing all of these good finds.

Alisa - Frugal Foodie said...

Now that is a creative one!

simplesong said...

i love, love pesto and can't wait to make this. thanks!

Juliana said...

This green looks delicious...with all the ingredients that you have in it...yummie!

adrienne said...

i too was amazed when i used olive oil & basil only & it still ended up tasting like pesto! delicious! i love your blog :)

shoppingsmycardio said...

ooh, i am SO trying this! i love collard greens, and am always wishing i could think of more ways to cook them.

thanks for stopping by my site, by the way - yours is fantastic!