Pesto Recipe

Pesto RecipeBelow is a winter greens pesto recipe from the Whole Foods Market website. I like the fact this pesto recipe includes the stems as there are nutrients in the stems and very often it is advised in recipes to dispose of them. Stems could be composted or taste good in a recipe. I have started growing my own basil as it will grow roots when placed in water. The issue is I do not have basil at this point. Pesto is one of the top dishes I make in my food processor. The food processor is a 1970s invention. A mortar and pestle could be used in place of a food processor and I suppose a blender would also work. A Martha Stewart pesto recipe I make often calls for much more cheese than is recipe (1/2 cup for 4 cups of basil leaves). When I make the recipe with just the basil leaves and not the stems it tastes better, but is more time consuming. This recipe uses lemon juice but the Martha Stewart recipe does not. I just purchased a Meyer lemon tree cutting and have no fruit from it yet. Supposedly it is better for the environment and healthy and feasible to have your own small potted Meyer lemon tree at home. The Martha Stewart pesto recipe also suggests toasting the pine nuts but I rarely do that. The yellow grape tomatoes in the photo are from my summer garden. The squirrels will bite the larger tomatoes but these tend to be left alone. I am looking into a better system for saving the seeds. Tomato seeds especially can be tricky to save. 

Winter Greens Pesto 
Ingredients (makes about 1 cup)

  • 1/4 cup nuts or seeds, such as sunflower seeds, walnuts or pine nuts
  • 2 cups firmly packed chopped raw winter greens (stems included), such as kale, chard, collard greens or mustard greens
  • 3 tablespoons grated hard cheese, such as Parmesan or Romano
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper


In a food processor, combine all ingredients until finely chopped. Olive oil can be poured in the machine feed tube while ingredients are chopped. Toss with choice of cooked pasta noodles such as penne or spaghetti. 

Note: Refrigerate sauce and cover with olive oil and then plastic wrap pressed onto the pesto if not using immediately. Pesto can keep for around seven days when tossed with pasta noodles. It is also a good sandwich or roasted vegetables spread. I have watched a few YouTube videos were they place a chicken in a slow cooker with pesto. Pesto tossed with pasta noodles can be frozen and then baked or microwaved later. There are pesto recipes that use sun-dried tomatoes which I have not tried yet but would like to. Pestos made with sunflower seeds will have a thicker texture and adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of water  will create a saucier texture. 

Nutritional Info Per Serving: Serving size: 2 tablespoons, 70 calories (60 from fat), 6g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 95mg sodium, 3g carbohydrates, (1 g dietary fiber), 2g protein.

Nutritional information for educational purposes only. Use own discretion and follow advice of health-care provider. Check product labels for the most recent ingredient information. 

Source: Accessed 11/28/16 Whole Foods Market ‘Winter Greens Pesto’ 


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