Beet Green Pesto

This beet green pesto is earthy and delicious!

Beet Green Pesto by Nutmeg Nanny

This post may not be for everyone.  I apologize. However, this beet green pesto is really really really good so you shouldn’t judge a book by it cover….or a recipe by it’s title. Beets are delicious and their greens are even more delicious!

I was not in the mood for sautéed greens so I decided to use these bad boys in pesto.  Pesto is the best because you can throw almost any green vegetable or herb, cheese and nut in a food processor, add some oil and boom you have pesto.  For this pesto I used blanched beet greens, a little basil, garlic, toasted hazelnuts, Parmiagiano-Reggiano cheese and olive oil. The pesto was earthy and paired lovely with pasta. Which is exactly how I served it. I thought the pesto pasta was delicious but I’m not going to lie. Mr. Nutmeg Nanny didn’t really enjoy the dish. His exact words “there is nothing wrong with the pesto I just don’t think it’s my thing.”  Oh well. I still enjoyed it.

Beet Green Pesto by Nutmeg Nanny


Beet Green Pesto

Yield: 1 cup pesto

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 minute

Total Time: 16 minutes plus time for chilling


Beet greens - from about 6 beets
1/2 cup light packed fresh basil leaves
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup hazelnuts - toasted
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese - grated
3/4 cup olive oil (more or less depending on taste and texture)
Kosher salt
Fresh cracked pepper

Source: Nutmeg Nanny


Blanch beet greens and squeeze water from the greens. Add the greens, basil, and hazelnuts. Chop until fine. Add Parmigiano-Reggiano and stream in olive oil till desired consistency is reached. Season with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.

To blanch greens you simply cut away any woody stems and just use the green portion of the stems. Wash thoroughly and set aside. Get a large pot and put it on the stove until boiling. Set another large bowl full of ice water next to the stove. Add greens to boiling water, leave in for 10 seconds, remove and immediately put into ice water. Then drain. Blanching helps soften the beet greens without losing the color.

Items used in this post:

22 Responses to “Beet Green Pesto”

  1. #
    Lyndsey — July 29, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    I am loving this! I am seeing more and more pestos from all kinds of different greens! Last night I made one from avocado and arugula with toasted almonds and Parmesan. Now I want to try this one. Thanks for showing us another great pesto. So much easier than sauteing it!

  2. #
    Jami — July 29, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Great idea! I have been swamped in greens from my CSA this year and never would have thought of throwing them in a pesto. I will be trying this immediately 🙂

  3. #
    Erica — July 29, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    I love versatile recipes like pesto! Its so nice to be able to just switch things up based on what you have on hand! I never thought to use something like beet greens. It always bums me out when I love a recipe and Josh gives it just an ehhhh. They clearly don’t have wonderful taste like we do 😉

  4. #
    Maris (In Good taste) — July 29, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    I think this looks really good! I love seeing and learning new things

  5. #
    Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray — July 29, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    Looks good to me! I love beets 🙂

  6. #
    Marla — July 29, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Look at you getting all healthy on us!! I have never made pesto with beet greens but now I must 🙂

  7. #
    Jeanette — July 29, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    Love that you used the beet greens in this pesto. I’ve been trying to use all sorts of tops and bottoms this summer from vegetables in my CSA Box, including carrot tops, turnip tops and cauliflower leaves. Waste not want not, it’s all healthy too!

  8. #
    Tadka Pasta — July 30, 2011 at 1:20 am

    Great idea! Now I know what to do with that bunch I just bought. Thanks so much!

  9. #
    Veronica — July 30, 2011 at 3:17 am

    What a creative use of beet greens! You go, girl!

  10. #
    Aggie — July 30, 2011 at 8:18 am

    I am totally going to try this asap. I am starting to work with beets more now…would love this!

  11. #
    Joanne — July 30, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Sounds super delish to me! I actually adore the fact that you used hazelnuts in it!

  12. #
    5 Star Foodie — July 30, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    That’s a great idea, and the hazelnut addition is awesome!

  13. #
    megan @ whatmegansmaking — August 2, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    what a great idea! I just gave my CSA beets away tonight before reading this – but I will keep them for myself next week 🙂

  14. #
    Jenni — August 7, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    I have to remember to keep pestos in mind when I am trying to use up a bunch of greens. Thanks for this great twist on pesto and for getting the idea in the front of my brain! 🙂

  15. #
    Debbie — August 13, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    This looks fantastic! I am going to try it tonight with almonds (since that’s what I have in the pantry). Thank you!

  16. #
    Megan'sCookin' — August 25, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Hmmm, interesting! I would have never thought…


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