Pic of Kale stalk pesto

Kale stalk pesto

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Salad dressings & dips

Kale stalk pesto

Serves 4 10 min
A lot of people throw away kale stalks, but you needn’t waste them, they make a great pesto. This vegan pesto is really adaptable, and you don’t need to worry too much about exact quantities. We’ve used pumpkin seeds but you could use other nuts or seeds; pine nuts and cashews would both be great. The toasted cumin adds an extra dimension, but you can play around with herbs and spices. Garlic and lemon would work well instead. This is great tossed through pasta, on top of bruschetta, dolloped on pizza, or even swirled through soup.

Cook's notes

You could also try this with spring or summer green stems. If you don’t have cumin seeds and/or a spice grinder, use ground cumin.


  • 2 handfuls of kale stalks, roughly chopped
  • 50g pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds, toasted & ground in a spice grinder
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • Olive oil
  • 1 lemon
Image of Kale stalk pesto


Prep time: 10 min
  • Step 1

    Put the kale stems in a food processor. Add the pumpkin seeds, toasted cumin and garlic clove. Pour in a few good glugs of olive oil to start with; you can always add more if you need it.
  • Step 2

    Blitz the ingredients together. If you like your pesto a bit chunky, don’t blend for long. For a smoother consistency, blend for longer. Add more olive oil if needed.
  • Step 3

    Finish by squeezing in half the lemon and a little salt and pepper. Stir, taste, and add more lemon or seasoning to suit your taste.
  • Step 4

    Serve immediately or keep in the fridge. Use within a week.

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