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This Pesto Is Made From an Ingredient You Probably Always Throw Away

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Here’s the deal: Wasting produce is a bummer. To avoid it requires not only using up your fruits and veggies before they go bad, but also making use of every part of them that you can.

Enter kale. Nearly all preparations of the green require stripping the tender leaves and tossing out the stems. This makes sense because the stems are tough and fibrous, and remain so even when they’re cooked down. But here’s a workaround: When you chop them up really fine, like in a food processor, the texture breaks down. That’s where this pesto comes in.

Pesto is great because you can really add anything you want to it (within reason, obviously). Here, we’ve provided a baseline recipe to use up a bunch of stems, but you could toss in some fresh basil for a more classic pesto flavor, swap the pine nuts for whichever nut you have on hand, add a pinch of red pepper flakes for some heat, etc, etc, etc. Go crazy.

If you don’t want to use the pesto immediately, toss it in an airtight container in the freezer and save it for your next pasta night.

Watch the video above to see how we did it, then follow the recipe below to make it yourself at home. And if you’re hungry for more food hacks, we’ve got you covered.

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Kale Stem Pesto

1 bunch kale stems, chopped
¼ pine nuts, toasted
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Add all ingredients to a food processor along with salt and pepper and pulse until smooth.