Brassicas: My Beloveds


A few months back I shared my love of cabbage with all of you.  But maybe I wasn’t being specific enough, or not general enough, depending upon how you look at it.  In actuality I harbor a secret love for all brassicas.  Cabbage, kale, collards, cauliflower. I adore all of them.

So, you can imagine my thrill when I found //“>Brassicas: Cooking the World’s Healthiest Vegetables at the library last week.  I was immediately smitten, and for good reason:  an entire book, all about my favorite genus of veggies!

This week our kitchen has been brimming (albeit a bit stinky) with so many fabulous dishes featuring these amazingly healthy, nourishing plants.

Pesto with a Kick


I love making pesto with early summer greens.  It just makes me feel good.  It’s green. It’s a great way to pack tons of vitamins and minerals in my kids’ bodies.  And, there is cheese in it, and anything with cheese is a must have in my book.

I have written about making pesto before, like in this post, where I also discuss how I preserve my pesto for those Midwestern days when there is no green growing outside.  This pesto is a bit different in that I didn’t use any herbs to impart flavor.  This time I used kale and mustard greens.  If you have never had mustard greens, they are amazing.  They are incredibly earthy tasting, but very spicy.  They are also another one of those cruciferous vegetables that have fabulous health benefits.  I like to think of this pesto recipe as a cruciferous cancer-fighting bomb of deliciousness 🙂

This recipe made a giant batch of pesto, so feel free to adjust as needed.  You may also need to make it in batches, depending upon the size of your food processor.

Here’s what to do:

1.  Wash and spin dry (I adore my salad and berry spinner.  Summer would not be the same without it.  I use it Every. Single. Day.) 5 cups of kale and 3 cups of mustard greens.  (Fyi…I jam packed the greens in the cups when measuring.) Set aside.

2.  In a food processor, combine 1 cup raw walnuts and 6 cloves of garlic.  Pulse them in the processor.

3.  Add the washed greens to the food processor.  (Again, you may need to do this in batches.)

4.  Slowly add in 1/2 cups olive oil while the food processor is running.

5.  Add 1/2 pound good shredded Parmesan cheese to the food processor.

6.  Slowly add an additional 1/2 cup to 1 cup of olive oil depending on the consistency you would like.

7.  Add salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste.