If your beets, turnips, radishes or carrots have the greens attached don't toss them. They are nutritious and as delicious as the root. Turning them into pesto is an easy way to consume them and since pesto freezes so well, a way to enjoy your greens at any time of year!
Bulls Blood Beet Green and Red Russian Kale Pesto Recipe
makes about 1 and 1/4 cups
2 cups washed and coarsely chopped Bulls Blood Beet greens (reserve the beetroot to roast or slice thinly and eat raw!)
1 cup washed and coarsely chopped Red Russian Kale
1/3 cup walnuts (or pine nuts)
2 cloves of garlic
up to 1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan or similar cheese
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste
1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil on the stove. Wash and remove the thick center stems of the beet greens and kale from the leaves. Prepare an ice bath of a bowl of water with ice cubes. Once the pot of water is boiling, place your beet greens and kale leaves in the pot in small batches and boil each batch for about 3 mins until tender, be careful not to overcook. With a slotted spoon remove kale from pot and dunk in the ice bath. Once cool put kale in colander to drain.
2. Place garlic in a food processor or blender and chop/blend into coarse pieces, add nuts and chop lightly. Then add drained blanched beet green and kale leaves, cheese and 1 tbs lemon juice and blend into small pieces. Finally add 1/4 cup olive oil in a slow stream and add more oil if necessary. (Generally I put a little more if it's going to be used with pasta or less if it is to be used as a spread.) Add pepper and more salt and lemon juice as needed to taste.
*Your pasta will turn pink if you use beet greens that have red leaves.
Cook's Notes & Variations:
- Play with the ratios of greens that you use; use more kale or substitute an equal amount of basil, spinach or the greens from turnips, radishes, beets or carrots so you have 3 cups of greens total.
- Try other nuts or seeds such as sunflower seeds, pistachios or almonds.
- If you have organic lemons, try adding a tablespoon or 2 of lemon zest.
If you find you have an abundance of greens (kale or greens from turnips, radishes, beets or carrots) that you don't know what to do... freeze them. Simply blanch the greens then put in freezer bags with all the air squeezed out and freeze. It will keep for months and can be added to soups, stews and lasagnas.