An unusual, yet tasty, combination. Use as with any pesto, on pasta, on bread, as a dip, over cooked grain, slathered on corn on the cob, over fresh tomatoes…Green olives complement the color of the greens, using black olives will create a darker, though not less tasty, pesto. Again, other greens, such as kale, work well here.
1 large bunch collard greens
1/4 c – 1/3 c pitted, coarsely chopped (green) olives
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 t vinegar or lemon juice
1/4 t cayenne powder
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 c extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 c grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Wash and stem collards. Coarsely chop collard leaves. When water is boiling, add collards. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes, until collards are tender. The tenderness factor is up to you–less tender greens will produce a rougher textured pesto (still good). Reserve about half a cup of the cooking liquid then drain collards.
2. You can gently press on the cooked collards to remove extra water, or not. If you just let them drain, you may not need to use the reserved cooking water.
3. Put olives and garlic in a food processor and whizz until finely chopped. Add collards, vinegar, a pinch of salt, and some pepper. (Both olives and Parmesan tend to be salty, so you may not need much, or any, salt.) Whizz until finely chopped. Add oil, in a steady stream, or not–just pour it all in at once, and whizz until a pesto-like consistency has formed, using some of the reserved cooking water if necessary, or more oil, to achieve this consistency.
4. Transfer to a bowl. Stir in Parmesan. Taste for seasonings. If not using immediately, store, covered, in the fridge, having first poured a thin layer of olive oil over the top of the pesto.