Basil and Leafy Greens Power Pesto

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Pesto is a great tool. It’s versatile, and so adaptable to any palate and dish. For this one, I kept to my standard ingredients of garlic, basil, olive oil and Parmesan cheese, and then added in some kale and Swiss chard from the garden. I have an overflow of these veggies, and need another use besides smoothies!

And that brings me to my next point – the nutrition powerhouses that are in this dish alone. We are talking major antioxidants (leafy greens, parsley and basil), antiviral components (basil and garlic especially) and a multitude of vitamins and minerals. Just eating this, I feel like I killed thousands of germs even thinking about getting me! So, with school starting, this is an excellent dish to have on hand!

Further Food Nutritionist Commentary:

Pestos are shockingly versatile! I love that this recipe includes so many other greens besides just traditional basil. The kale and swiss chard offer extra fiber and nutrients and still keep the pesto green! When making pestos, you can always swap the commonly used pine nut for any nut you like, just like this recipe swapped in walnuts. Walnuts are very rich in heart-healthy fats and are a great swap. With any higher fat sauce, keeping the serving size to a modest 1-2 tablespoon portion is ideal.

By Megan Wolf
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Basil and Leafy Greens Power Pesto

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Servings: 4

Ingredients

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup Swiss chard leaves (packed in and stems removed*)
1/4 cup kale leaves (packed in and stems removed*)
1/4 cup raw walnuts
1/2 -3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
3 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon water
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon fresh parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt

*Combination of greens can vary or amounts can switch up if so desired (think 3/4 cup packed leafy greens, stems removed).

Instructions

  1. Prepare pasta according to directions and set aside if using with pesto.
  2. Wash leafy greens and remove stems. Remove skin from garlic and roughly chop (so combines easily into food processor).
  3. Combine all ingredients in food processor and process for 1-2 minutes until blended.
  4. Serve with pasta, on bread or even in eggs! Depending on desired strength, it can be mixed in with preferred base 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time.
Prepare pasta according to directions and set aside if using with pesto. Wash leafy greens and remove stems. Remove skin from garlic and roughly chop (so combines easily into food processor). Combine all ingredients in food processor and process for 1-2 minutes until blended. Serve with pasta, on bread or even in eggs! Depending on desired strength, it can be mixed in with preferred base 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time.

Nutrition Information

Per Serving:  Calories: 199; Total Fat: 19g; Saturated Fat: 4g; Monounsaturated Fat: 9g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g; Cholesterol: 11mg; Sodium: 532mg; Potassium: 66mg; Carbohydrate: 3g; Fiber: 1g; Sugar: 0g; Protein: 5g

Nutrition Bonus: Vit A: 17%; Vit C: 12%; Calcium: 12%

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