Kale/Rainbow Chard/Sun-dried tomato

One of the many benefits of being a food photographer is that I get the pleasure of creating, testing, and most important, eating the recipes that I shoot! A few months ago, I began photographing for a wonderful artisan pasta company based out of Louisville, KY called Cavallo Nero Pasta. They are small batch, organic, non-gmo, vegan, and happen to make some of the best pasta I've ever had. Yes, their pasta does contain gluten but some things are worth breaking the rules for. If you are 100% gluten-free or celiac don't worry! The following is totally gluten-free and a great way to have the best of both worlds.

One of the recipes I tested and shot for them was a Rainbow Chard Pesto that I veganized by adding vegan parmessan instead of regular. This pesto will knock your socks off! It is out of this world delicious and gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and is great for the immune system, heart and bone health, helps support healthy eyes, and has a good amount of vitamin C, A, E, and B6.

Every week, I've been making a double batch to keep in the fridge for a quick easy meal. Here's my latest creation using this fabulous pesto but use your imagination and get wild with it!


For salad
1 bunch green kale, stems removed, chopped
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, julienne
1/4 cup pine nuts

For Pesto
1 bunch (about 6 cups) rainbow chard stems removed, blanched
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup vegan parmesan cheese + more for garnish ( I like Go Veggie brand)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil + more more garnish
2 medium cloves garlic, peeled
2 teaspoons lemon juice, fresh squeezed
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest + 1 teaspoon for garnish
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

​1. Prepare a pot of boiling water and a bowl of ice water. Place the chard leaves in the boiling water for two minutes. Remove leaves and immediately plunge in the ice water.
2. Drain chard leaves and place in a food processor. Add pine nuts, vegan parmesan, olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, sea salt, and pepper. Pulse until combined but pesto is still slightly chunky.
3. In a large bowl add, chopped kale, sun-dried tomatoes, and pesto. Lightly toss until kale is well coated in pesto. Add more olive oil if necessary. Plate and top with pine nuts, lemon zest, and a dash of vegan parmesan. Enjoy!