This pesto is great in Spring, when the beet greens are tender and young. It has an earthy flavor that works well with pasta, on crostini, or as a garnish for a soup. Try serving it to people who don’t normally like beet greens – they may not even be able to tell!
3 small garlic cloves
5 cups beet greens (1 – 2 bunches), stalks removed, washed and torn into pieces (Sweet Leaf Farm)
½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
¼ cup walnut oil
¼ cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
Kosher or sea salt, to taste
1. Peel the garlic cloves. Mince them very finely, and then mash them into a paste using the side of your knife blade against the cutting board.
2. Put the beet greens in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse them a few times to chop them into smaller pieces.
3. Add the pasted garlic, the chopped walnuts, the lemon zest and juice. Process everything until well combined.
4. With the machine running, slowly add the walnut oil through the feed tube. Stop when you have your desired pesto consistency.
5. Remove the pesto from the processor to a medium bowl. Mix in the grated cheese by hand. Taste for seasoning, and add salt if necessary.