Leprechaun Tricks

'Lil mischief, family fun, and "Parties We Have Held"

Our Favorite Baba Ghanoush and Pesto Recipes


We served these two dishes when the 1st and 2nd graders came to visit. We wanted to show them what we were currently making from the plants in our garden.

Kale and Almond Pesto   from http://threemanycooks.com/


  • 1 bunch kale (about 12 leaves or 9 ounces), rinsed thoroughly
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup whole, raw unsalted almonds
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • Salt and pepper to taste


1. Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Submerge all the kale in boiling water, stirring occasionally, until bright green but still crisp, 30-60 seconds. Drain the kale and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Dry the kale thoroughly with a clean kitchen towel. When dry, tear or cut the kale leaves from the thick, woody stem.

2. In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine the kale leaves, Parmesan, almonds, basil, and garlic; pulse until well combined. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil first and then the water. Season to taste with salt and pepper. And add more oil or water, if necessary, to reach desired consistency.

Pesto will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks (longer if you float a little oil on the top). And it can be frozen for up to 6 months.


Recipe: Genoese Basil Pesto by Giuliano Hazan

An easier version, and my go-to pesto recipe, is from the Today Show. I quadruple, quintuple and “whatever-the-word-is-for-making-12 times-as-much” this one in the big Cuisinart.


  • 1 1/3 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated Pecorino Romano


1.  Wash the basil leaves and spin dry.  Place the basil, pine nuts, garlic, salt, and olive oil in a food processor.  Run the processor until the mixture is smooth and creamy.  Transfer the contents to a mixing bowl and mix in the grated cheeses with a spoon or rubber spatula.

Our pesto comes out a bit different every time, as we use a combination of arugula, kale, swiss chard, parsley and basil. Sometimes I use pine nuts, sometimes walnuts or almonds.  If you toast the nuts first, make sure to let them cool completely or they will darken the pesto. I also prep everything except the basil, get everything measured out and set up, and cut the basil right before I make the pesto. This also helps keep it bright green.


Baba Ghanoush from  thepioneerwoman.com


  • 3 whole Medium Eggplants
  • 4 Tablespoons Tahini
  • 4 cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
  • 1/4 cup Lemon Juice
  • 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (good Quality)
  • 1/3 cup Fresh Parsley, Minced

Preparation Instructions

IMPORTANT: Prick the surface of each eggplant several times with the tines of a fork.

1. On the grill or under the broiler (set to high) blacken/char the eggplant for 25 minutes or so. Sometimes it takes almost an hour! You want the skin to be completely shriveled and dark, and the eggplant almost fall-apart tender. Just when you think it’s shriveled, let it go another five minutes.

2. Set them aside to cool slightly. I slice the top off and invert them in a strainer so the liquid inside drains out. This gets rid of the bitterness.

3. When cool, peel off skin enough to get a spoon into each eggplant and scrape out the flesh into a bowl. Try to get as much as you can, even the stuff that’s stuck to the inside of the skin.

4. Mash eggplant with a fork. A few large chunks are fine, but try to get it to a relatively smooth texture without being totally pureed.

5. Add in all other ingredients, stirring and tasting before adjusting seasonings or other ingredients. Don’t undersalt!


The Pita Bread

A little shout out to Shaloha on Waialae Avenue in Kaimuki for their really, really good pita bread. Say hello to Sage and tell him Michele sent you!


One comment on “Our Favorite Baba Ghanoush and Pesto Recipes

  1. Pingback: Isabella’s Classmates Tour the Garden | Leprechaun Tricks

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This entry was posted on May 7, 2013 by in Family Fun, Il Gardino, Our Garden, Recipes and tagged , , , , , , .
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