Anna’s Kale-Arugula and Toasted Cashew Pesto


Photo by Helena and Matthew Sylvester

Chef Anna Buss started her food journey on an educational farm in Israel, where she learned how to grow and cook with seasonal ingredients. On moving to the Bay Area, she worked as a farmers’ market chef for the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association and also for Frog Hollow Farm. A longtime member of the Happy Acre Farm community, she created many recipes like this one for the farm’s CSA newsletter before stepping back while starting her own family. She now works on the Kaiser Permanente social media team and develops recipes for their Food for Health blog. Follow Anna on instagram @_annabuss.

This recipe can serve a crowd or a few. Count on having plenty left over to freeze for later use.

2 cups tightly packed fresh kale leaves
2 cups tightly packed fresh arugula leaves
½ cup cashews
1 clove green garlic, chopped
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
Grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Wash greens and de-stem the kale. Bring roughly 2 quarts of salted water to a boil. Blanch kale and arugula separately for about a minute or until the leaves become a deep green. Drain leaves into a colander and run cold water over them. Press leaves to remove excess water and let drain.

Meanwhile, bring a sauté pan to a medium heat, add raw cashews and a pinch of salt. Occasionally move the pan around to prevent the cashews from burning. Toast until you start to smell a nutty aroma and the cashews have browned on both sides. Remove from pan and let cool.

Place blanched kale and arugula, toasted cashews, green garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and salt in a blender and process until smooth.

Cook your pasta of choice according to the instructions on the box. When pasta is ready, strain and immediately toss with a little olive oil and salt. Add pesto (enough to coat pasta) and serve garnished with grated Parmigiano Reggiano.

Store any remaining pesto in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. If you wish to preserve a large batch of pesto, portion it into freezer bags and freeze for up to a year.