csa pesto

week 7: potatoes, carrots, summer squash, cucumbers, kale, lemon basil
week 8: potatoes, beets, cucumbers, summer squash, parsley
week 9: potatoes, carrots, cucumber, summer squash, kale, tomato, eggplant

One of the things I wasn’t expecting when joining a CSA was the enormous amount of greens I’d be receiving each week. In addition to chard, kale, spinach, bok choy, cabbage and lettuce, there are the greens that come with beets and turnips. I didn’t know you could eat them. They’re usually removed by the time they reach the grocery store.

Luckily, my daughter loves pesto. As long as it’s green with garlic, lemon juice and nuts, she’s happy. I’ve made it with broccoli, asparagus and all kinds of leafy greens. She never fails to eat it up, especially if it’s tossed with cheese tortellini (her favorite!).

When I found my crisper filled with greens that needed to be used up soon, I threw this together and it turned out so good. Try mixing it up with different ingredients. Enjoy!

Leafy Green Pesto

1 bunch kale, blanched
1 bunch beet greens,* blanched
1 cup almonds, blanched
1/2 cup fresh italian parsley
grated peel and juice from one lemon
1-2 cloves of garlic
sea salt to taste
olive oil optional

Whiz ingredients together in a food processor until mixed thoroughly. Add small amounts of water or olive oil if necessary.

Toss it with white beans, chick peas or pasta. Use it as a dip. Try not to eat it by the spoonful. Don’t forget to top it off with a little grated parmesan cheese. Yum!

*I used the greens from candy-striped beets (Chioggia beets). Red beet greens are too messy for me and go straight into smoothies.


  • I blanch all green veggies, especially broccoli and asparagus, when making pesto. The only exceptions are herbs and spinach. Give them a whirl in the salad spinner to drain excess water.
  • Don’t spend extra for blanched almonds. Buy raw with the skins on and drop them in boiling water for 30 seconds. Pinch between your fingers and the skins pop right off!
  • Bread and bagel bags are the perfect size for storing long, leafy greens.

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