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Beet Green Pesto With Toasted Walnuts

I’ve never been a winter person. I’ve always been able to appreciate the darkness that crawls over summer’s end and drags us into the dead of the season, but winter itself can bugger off. Not that I can complain; I’m a Canadian-born gal living in the South. Sure, North Carolina gets “winter”, but nothing like the savage winters I experienced in Southern Ontario.

Albeit Southern Ontario hasn’t had much winter this year either. But, you know, global warming isn’t a thing. (Eye roll.)

Regardless of how mild of a winter it’s been, I am oh-so-ready to welcome Spring — and with that, March’s theme for the blog is a whole lot of green; vibrance and rejuvenation.

I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but it wasn’t until this past year I learned that beet greens can be put to use — in addition to carrot tops, turnip greens, radish greens, etc. Who knew.

Beet Green Pesto With Toasted Walnuts | Killing Thyme Beet Green Pesto With Toasted Walnuts | Killing Thyme

Beet Green Pesto With Toasted Walnuts | Killing Thyme

When it comes to pesto, I’ve come to notice that there are two types of pesto lovers out there:

  1. those who love an herbaceous pesto, and
  2. those who love a garlicky and nutty pesto

I fall into the latter group; I’m a bit of a garlic fiend. Luckily my husband is too, so we just stink in unison.

Beet Green Pesto With Toasted Walnuts | Killing Thyme

I didn’t include any fresh herbs in this pesto, but you can absolutely add a handful of basil, parsley or cilantro if you prefer an herbaceous pesto. You could also switch things up by using pine nuts instead of walnuts, and you don’t have to toast your walnuts, but I recommend it. Toasty walnuts > non-toasty walnuts, you know?

Beet Green Pesto With Toasted Walnuts | Killing Thyme

This stuff is fantastic with crackers, spread over toast, tossed with pasta and slathered atop a fillet of fish.

Beet Green Pesto With Toasted Walnuts

Stop tossing your beet greens into the trash; put them to use with this nutty, garlicky beet green pesto instead!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Author Killing Thyme

Ingredients

  • 5 cups beet greens stems removed
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
  • 3 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup shaved parmesan or romano
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Handful of herbs (basil, parsley, cilantro) optional

Instructions

  • Add all of the ingredients, minus the olive oil, to a high power blender. Begin to blend on low (to avoid a puree), and slowly add the olive oil until the mixture is well blended.
    Transfer to an air tight container and keep in the fridge for up to three weeks.
    Serve over pasta, with pita chips, smeared over toast or slathered on a fillet of fish.

Notes

Adapted from B. Britnell

14 Comments

  • […] Beet greens pesto – use this to make pizza, pasta, sandwiches or as a tasty kitchen condiment […]

    Reply
  • Week of May 8th | Something Good
    May 6, 2019 at 3:43 pm

    […] Beet Green Pesto With Toasted Walnuts (Stop tossing your beet greens into the trash; put them to use with this nutty, garlicky beet green pesto instead!) Ingredients: 5 cups beet greens stems removed 1/2 cup toasted walnuts 3 cloves of garlic roughly chopped 1/4 cup shaved parmesan or romano 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil Handful of herbs (basil, parsley, cilantro) optional (Find the full recipe here at Killing Thyme) […]

    Reply
  • The Daily Dirt - Johnson's Backyard Garden
    October 5, 2018 at 9:00 am

    […] Beet Green Pesto […]

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  • The Ultimate Collection of Veggie Pesto Recipes
    September 10, 2018 at 9:52 am

    […] Beet Green Pesto by Killing Thyme […]

    Reply
  • Amy
    July 12, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    I harvested my beets this morning and usually sautee the greens but had way too many. I found your recipe and tried it. Had some for lunch with good crackers and some smoked cheese my husband made……delicious!!! Thanks for sharing, Amy

    Reply
    • Killing Thyme
      July 12, 2018 at 3:12 pm

      Hey Amy!
      I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe. More often than not, I end up gobbling up the entire batch with crackers too. It’s just too good that way. Adding smoked cheese, that sounds heavenly. Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by with feedback! I really appreciate it. xo

      Reply
  • Alexandra | Occasionally Eggs
    March 7, 2017 at 2:54 am

    Beautiful! I was at the market yesterday and everyone was ripping the kohlrabi stems/leaves off and leaving them behind, it was so sad! I usually fry up greens with whatever else I’m cooking, but pesto would be a nice treat! Food waste drives me bonkers, and beet and other root veg greens taste great and they’re so healthy.

    Reply
  • Justine @ JustineCelina.com
    March 4, 2017 at 12:30 am

    Dana, to be honest I’ve never really noticed how beautiful beet greens (and stems!) are until this post! I’m also guilty of tossing them, but I’m definitely going to try this pesto (I feel you on the garlic, girl!). I won’t be able to add the cheese (and non dairy cheese substitutes totally freak me out) — do you think it would be okay without the cheese? I could add more walnuts or something. Anyway I look forward to trying the recipe! Oh and by the way, the new theme looks great!

    Reply
    • Killing Thyme
      March 6, 2017 at 11:36 am

      Though I’ve always found them to be pretty, they seemed like nothing more but compost to me for the *longest* time. I’m new to this whole making-use-of-stems thing myself. I hope you dig this pesto! Haha, funny story about garlic — I made a pesto on a whim once because my parsley and basil plants were incredibly overgrown. I ended up putting way too much garlic in, so it was most like an herbaceous garlic spread than anything, but it was so. good. I mean, any normal person would have probably been offended by it, but my husband and I were gobbling it up with crackers. It was so garlicky it burned a bit, haha. You just might have loved it :)

      I think you’d be fine without the cheese! It adds a tad of sharpness but I certainly don’t find it to be a prominent flavor in the mix. Extra walnuts never hurt anyone! (Except maybe people allergic to walnuts… )

      And thank you! It was so funny, halfway through the theme I was like, “Why does this seem so familiar?” Then it hit me. I went over to your site and was like, GREAT MINDS. As always. <3

      Reply
    • Killing Thyme
      March 6, 2017 at 11:37 am

      (Also: YAY! Your comments are coming through! \o/)

      Reply
  • Mel @ The Refreshanista
    March 3, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    Totally laughed out loud about you and your husband both loving garlic and stinking in unison! My husband and I are the same way. I swear I use half a head of garlic at every meal. I am totally guilty of tossing my beet greens. Keeping this recipe in mind for the next time I buy beets!

    Reply
    • Killing Thyme
      March 3, 2017 at 8:52 pm

      Haha, I’m glad we’re not the only ones. When we make popcorn, the garlic butter we make for it is ridiculous. We smash a bunch of garlic cloves and let them simmer in the butter, then we discard the garlic but the butter is infused and amazing. We also like to add Sriracha. I keep meaning to blog the recipe because it’s the best popcorn ever, but I photograph in natural light and who makes popcorn like that during the day? Lol
      And yeah! You can also use beet greens for homemade veggie broth — just collect them in a freezer bag with other veggie scraps.

      Reply
  • diversivore
    March 3, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    I loooooooove this Dana. LOVE IT. Beet greens are wildly under-used and unloved, and for no good reason. They’re a great veggie with wonderful colour. It drives me nuts when I see people tossing them out. I also love that you’ve doubled down of the bold/earthy flavour profile by using walnuts. I think that the combinations probably does a great job of standing up to the strong taste of the cheese, and it’s wonderful to see a pesto that’s trying to be a little different. Nice work, as always!!

    Reply
    • Killing Thyme
      March 3, 2017 at 4:35 pm

      Thanks, Sean! Yeah, this definitely doesn’t taste like your classic pesto since the prominent flavor in a classic is those delicious pine nuts. But this is a different in a really nice way and gives us another option in the world of pesto. I’m a total stickler when it comes to food waste, and I’m very vocal about it. Lol. It probably drives my husband nuts, but hey. There are too many folks who have to pinch pennies to enjoy a solid meal and that hurts my heart.

      Reply

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