Welcome warm days and lush growth with delicious, healthy Summer Pesto!
If you've had fresh pesto, you know the taste of summer (although we eat it all year!). Fresh herbs and garlic, blended up with olive oil, nuts (and maybe a little sharp cheese)… it's so good on pasta, rice, veggies…
I love traditional basil pesto, but my sauce-making world expanded when I started thinking of pesto as an HERB / VEGGIE – based green sauce rather than a basil-based sauce. This opens up a world of possibilities for flavor, nutrition, foraging and using what's currently abundant in your yard or farmer's market. So here's a pesto recipe you can make with any combination of greens and culinary herbs. If you're skeptical, make a batch with half basil and half other greens. Soon you may be making your own new pesto recipes!
Summer Pesto Recipe
- 4 to 8 cups packed greens
- 4 to 8 fat cloves garlic
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1 to 2 cups nuts (walnuts, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds)
- Salt & Pepper
- Optional: splash of lemon juice (1 to 2 Tbsp)
- Put greens in food processor and blend into small pieces
- Add garlic & olive oil and blend until smooth
- Add oil, salt & pepper and blend
- Taste & adjust salt & pepper. Add lemon juice if desired
- Add nuts and blend to desired smoothness or chunkiness of nuts
Serve with pasta, rice, veggies, pizza, meat, corn on the cob
Suggested Greens for Summer Pesto:
I love to combine different greens for extra nutrition and flavor and often use a mix of salad greens and wild edibles. The list below is just a start – any edible greens can go into pesto.
- Dandelion greens
- Carrot tops
- Beet greens
- Garlic mustard
- Garlic scapes
You can be creative with additions to the pesto recipe above. Some ideas:
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Roasted red peppers
Pesto freezes well. I like to make big batches to share with friends and freeze for later. Freeze it in small glass jars or freezer bags – it keeps for at least 6 months.