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What to do with beet greens – Beet Greens Pesto Recipe

We planted two large rows of beets this year.  I am excited to be picking them already… roasting beets, sauteeing them, boiling, pickling… and the list goes on.

Last year, however – I ended up giving a lot of those beet greens to the chickens after waiting a bit too long to use them.  I’m resolved to change that this year, and to make better use of those beautiful, nutrient-dense greens!

A few things we’ve already done with them this season:

Sautee with garlic and olive oil – top with toasted nuts and a drizzle of favorite vinegar

Add them raw to fruit smoothies (minus the stems) for a mild-tasting superfood boost!

Early wonder beets growing in a raised bed garden

This simple pesto was inspired by THIS kale pesto recipe – an Italian favorite, and our standard basil pesto recipe.

Pick (or purchase) a nice bunch of fresh basil:

Remove stems on both the beet greens and the basil.

Don’t forget to save your basil stems for your freezer scrap soup stock!  (read about it HERE)

Save your beet stems to sautee with onion and eggs in the morning, add into soup – or … feed to the chickens or compost pile.

stems removed

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, and toss in the beet green leaves, (NOT the basil!) along with a whole clove of garlic.  Keep in mind that the greens will cook down significantly.

Blanch them for just 2 minutes – they should still be bright green, but a bit more tender than when you started.

blanching

Strain the greens, lightly chop the garlic and wait for them to cool.  You don’t want them turning your fresh basil dark.

Add all of your ingredients to your food processor:

– blanched beet greens

– chopped blanched garlic clove

– a bunch of fresh basil, stems removed

– a handful of nuts (use whatever you have. I used some soaked almonds this time.  Pine nuts, and sunflower seeds – use what you have!)

– salt, to taste

– a generous drizzle of olive oil

– knob of grass-fed butter

Blend these all until smooth.  Add more olive oil if not blending well.

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Beet Green Pesto

This pesto has that wonderful summer flavor of the basil, but not quite as strong, making it possible to consume more of the greens in a serving. Enjoy over pasta, add into soups, or use it as we did today – as a dip for fresh veggies from the garden.

Course: Sauces

Serves:

Ingredients

  • Beet greens Blanched
  • Garlic clove Chopped, blanched
  • Fresh Basil Stems removed
  • Nuts Pine nuts, sunflower seeds, whatever you have
  • Salt to taste
  • Olive Oil Generous drizzle
  • Butter

Directions

  1. Pick (or purchase) a nice bunch of fresh basil.
  2. Remove stems on both the beet greens and the basil (Don’t forget to save your basil stems for your freezer scrap soup stock!)
  3. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, and toss in the beet green leaves, (NOT the basil!) along with a whole clove of garlic. The greens will cook down significantly.
  4. Blanch beet greens for just 2 minutes (they should still be bright green, but a bit more tender than when you started).
  5. Strain the greens, lightly chop the garlic and wait for them to cool (You don’t want them turning your fresh basil dark).
  6. Add all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add more olive oil if not blending well.

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