Sara's Arugula Caprese Kale Pesto Salad

As I become busier in my practice, helping people heal, I’m finding that I have less time to play in my kitchen to create new recipes.  Yet, I always like to bring something new and delicious, and easy to you each month so that you will be able to increase your repertoire of recipes that will help you to use food to keep your taste buds happy and to keep your body and brain happy too!  

To solve the dilemma this month, I’ve borrowed a recipe from one of my favorite food blogger’s Sara Forte.  I re-discovered Sara’s blog, The Sprouted Kitchen a couple weeks ago when I was doing a search for sprouted quinoa.    I had met Sara, at least 5 years ago in a yoga room.  She was actually one of my students-very serious in the yoga room and very playful when writing and in the kitchen.  Back then, she was already blogging and coming up with amazing recipes, but only as a hobby.  What was a hobby then, has become what she does pretty much does full time and she is oh so very good at it!!!  I have never been disappointed when I’ve tried Sara’s recipes and her photographs are almost as yummy as her dishes.  She’s also published a beautiful cookbook where you can find her mouthwatering, body nourishing recipes and photos.   So here is Sara’s Arugula Caprese Kale Pesto Salad. Buon Appetito!


Adapted from The Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook
This will make more kale pesto than you’ll need to dress this salad. It is excellent on eggs, as a sandwich spread, an alternative to pizza sauce, tossed in with some noodles or as a dip. Baby tomatoes are up at the farmers market, I love the sweet 100’s, but any ripe baby tomato is just fine here.
  • 1 small bunch Tuscan/lacinato kale
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup lightly toasted walnuts
  • handful fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • juice of one lemon
  • 3 Tbsp. water
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 lb. baby tomatoes
  • 8 oz. small mozzarella balls (bocconcini or pearline)
  • 3 cups baby arugula
  • flaked sea salt, optional
  • arugula caprese salad with kale pesto . sprouted kitchen
 For the kale pesto, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cut the tough stems from the kale and roughly chop the leaves. Blanch the kale leaves for about 30 seconds, transfer to a strainer and run cold water over them to stop the cooking. Once the kale is cool, squeeze out the excess moisture. This should yield about 1 1/2 cups blanched kale.
In a food processor, combine the garlic, walnuts and pulse to chop. Add the kale, basil, parmesan, red pepper flakes, water, lemon juice, 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper and pulse to combine. Turn the processor on and drizzle in the olive oil until you get the consistency you like. Thin with a bit more lemon juice and a splash of water for a more dressing-like consistency. Taste and adjust as needed.
Slice the baby tomatoes and mozzarella balls in half and collect them in a large mixing bowl. Add a few spoonfuls of the kale pesto and toss gently to coat, adding desired amount of dressing. Toss in your arugula, add a pinch of flaky sea salt and serve.
Make ahead tip: The tomatoes and mozzarella can be dressed hours in advance and kept covered in the fridge, I actually recommend that t
hey marinate in the pesto for better flavor. Just leave the mix at room temperature for awhile so the pesto dressing will distribute easily. Add arugula just before serving.

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