Oxbow Farm & Conservation Center

Beet and Kale pesto (300x276)

Beet Green and Kale Pesto

When cooking a bunch of beets, don’t discard the greens.  Save them to make a flavorful and nutritious pesto.

Submitted by Rowdy Cowgirl in collaboration with the OxBox Project,  food bloggers creating delicious recipes featuring Oxbow vegetables.


  • 8 cups Greens (or beet green/kale combo in any proportion)
  • 1/2 C Olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves Garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1/2 C Sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 C Shredded parmeasan cheese
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper

  • Half fill stockpot with water, cover, and bring to a boil.  Meanwhile, fill large bowl with ice water to blanch greens.

    Clean beet greens well and remove stems.  One bunch of beets will yield 3-4 cups of greens.  Add enough kale leaves (also cleaned and with stems removed) to make 8 cups of greens.

    When water is boiling, add greens and stir.  Cook for two minutes, then scoop greens from boiling water with a large slotted spoon and plunge into ice water (If you are in the process of making dinner, add pasta to the water that is already boiling and set timer).

    Swirl greens around in ice water to cool.  Drain and gently squeeze out excess water.  Roughly chop greens.  Add greens, oil, garlic, sunflower seeds, parmesan and lemon juice to food processor (or use immersion blender) and process until uniform and smooth—you still want tiny bits of the greens, not a puree.  Taste and add salt, pepper, and additional lemon juice if needed.

    Makes about 1.5 cups.  Use about 2 tablespoons of pesto per serving for pasta.