The next time you cook with beets be sure and save the greens. With just a few simple ingredients you can turn them into a delicious beet tops pesto that’s perfect on pasta.
Every time I buy beets I am amazed by how many greens are attached to them as stuff them in my crisper drawer. Sadly, before this week, I always tossed the greens away never once thinking that maybe those greens could be used for something. That all ends here.
After my spinach and parsley pesto revelation (whaa? Pesto isn’t just for basil?) I’m more creative turning random green stuff into pesto – it’s such a quick and easy way to use up odds and ends. Some greens, some nuts, some cheese, some garlic, some olive oil and poof! you got yourself a tasty sauce for some pasta.
Hello, easy weeknight dinner.
Since I just shared a roasted beet salad I wanted to take advantage of the situation and show you how I used the greens. This recipe makes a good cup and a half of pesto – I tossed some of it with fusilli pasta and froze the rest. Pesto keeps great in the freezer (store it in small containers with a layer of olive oil on top), which means there’s always something to make for dinner as long as you have some kind of pasta on hand. There’s never a shortage of pasta in our house (I just counted and turns out we have 15 boxes of pasta!), but there’s always a need to have different sorts of sauces. This beet top pesto is a great one to have around.
- 5-6 cups Beet Top Greens (just the green leaves from approximately 2 bunches of beets)
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 garlic cloves
- Juice and zest from 1/2 a lemon
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- Salt, to taste
- Toss the greens, walnuts, grated Parmesan cheese, garlic cloves, and lemon juice and zest in a blender or food processor. Blend them all together until everything is chopped up. With the blender or food processor running, slowly pour in the olive oil until the sauce is smooth. Season to taste with salt (start with a couple pinches).
- Toss the pesto with hot pasta and serve with some grated Parmesan on top.
- Makes about a cup and a half of sauce