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"Beet Pesto" by Elsa Bruno

Many things I have found myself cooking lately are really re-fancified parts of foods that might normally be discarded. This may sound disgusting but really it’s thrifty! Resourceful! Respectful to the person who grew the food! …and yummy.

Lately, I’ve been on a beet kick, and those leafy, leafy greens that grow out of the top of them can do more than just poke cheerfully out of your tote like some sort of Pinterest board come to life. They make excellent pesto.


TIME: 15 minutes

*vegetarian and vegan if you omit parmesan. To maintain consistency for vegan version add less olive oil.



The greens of three to five beets

Half a lemon

Half a cup of walnuts

Half a cup of grated parmesan

1/4 cup of good-quality olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Half an onion

4 cloves of garlic


Chop the garlic and the onions coarsely. Place in a saucepan with some olive oil and heat on low until onions are translucent and you can smell the garlic. Turn off heat.


Get out your blender or food processor. Pour in olive oil and squeeze that lemon until it yields all of its juice. Break off stems of the beet greens, place all in blender.


Blend away until the leaves are coarsely chopped (not a puree). Add garlic and onion from saucepan, walnuts, salt and pepper, and parmesan. Blend again until pesto still has some sign of chunky leaves and nuts.

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This pesto will keep in the fridge for about a week, but I would recommend spreading into an ice cube tray and keeping it in the freezer. Whenever you need a spread or a sauce, remove the cube(s) and let it come to room temperature or force it to come to room temperature with your microwave.

One of my favorite ways to use this pesto is to chop up a beet and throw it into the boiling water with the pasta. Then add the pesto once the pasta and beets are drained — root and leaves together again!



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