{In Season} spring greens & things pesto

{Troy Farmers Market, River Street, May 19, 2012}

Whether or not you belong to a CSA Program, if you are visiting your local farmers market this weekend or weekday, you will come across an array of spring/early summer greens & things. Spring greens such as chois, arugula, spinach, turnip & radish tops, kale, swiss chard and things like green garlic (immature garlic pulled early), garlic scapes (harvested off garlic plants so the plant concentrate its energy on building that gorgeous multi-clove bulb for the traditional July harvest) , hakarei turnips, a variety of radish variety and bountiful herbs.

Miles eating a scape after he clipped them from our garlic plants in our townhome-driveaway-garden.

Since I am the CSA Coordinator for Kilpatrick Family Farm, I’m asked A LOT by our wonderful members for ideas to use up some of the “back up” that can happen by getting week after week of amazing (yet can be overwhelming) produce in their CSA shares. This can especially happen in the spring-early summer when its a constant deluge of spring greens & things. Weeks before the summer bounty of variety, its week after week of fresh greens & things. I am a HUGE fan of greens, I eat them with every meal. So much so that it annoys my husband as I put a big pile of un-dressed greens on every plate- breakfast, lunch and dinner. On pizza, on eggs, on soup as a garnish or in a frittata, in a soup or on the grill (try grilled bok/pac choi! trust me!)

Radish Time!

Besides telling members to be boring, and just put it on their entrees undressed like me, I tell them – PESTO! Pesto is the answer to decreasing the crisper-load in a few pulses of the processor AND its versatile: put it on sandwiches, burgers, blend into pastas, cold noddle or grain salads, the list is endless. Pesto is something easy & quick to make, that can add a ZING! to any meal.

Take out your food processor or blender, throw in some spring greens, oil, cheese, a nut of your choice and maybe some herbs, like thyme and put a zing in your weekend meals or snacks (cut up those spring turnips & radishes and get a dipping!). Miles LOVES LOVES LOVES this pesto as his pizza sauce when he’s craving ‘green pizza mama!”

As a side note, this recipe calls for my favorite cheese/nut substitute: dry-roasted sunflower seeds & nutritional yeast as we can’t have nuts, sesame seeds, nor dairy in our home. Substitute your cheese and nut preference if you desire.

Springs Greens & Things Pesto


2 cups of spinach
1 cup argula or another strong green like mustard greens, turnip or radish tops
1 green garlic, white and light green parts
1 garlic scape (up to the seed bulb)
1/2-3/4 cup of olive oil (some folks love their pesto runny, some like it more as a spread: YOUR CALL!)
1/2 teaspoon (or a small pinch) of fresh herbs such as thyme
Sea Salt & Pepper to taste
1/4 cups of sunflower seeds, optional
2 Tbs. nutritional yeast, optional

Throw everything into the food processor, except the olive oil. Pulse a few times to mix & chop all the ingredients, then start slowly pouring in the olive oil. Stop when you’ve reached the desired consistency, probably about 1/2-3/4 cup.

Snag one of these, slather it with the pesto some chopped radishes & turnips maybe a few slices of some local cheese = LUNCH! NOM NOM

LEFTOVER IDEA: If I have some pesto left after a few days, so spice things up I throw in a can of white beans and made a lovely sandwich spread and party dip.

Morning Snack time, June 8, 2012

LASTLY, we have had other LOVELY pesto recipes on the site:
Jillian’s Arugula Pesto Two Ways,
Britin’s Focaccia & Nick’s Traditional Basil Pesto,

Christine’s Garlic Scape Pesto

and finally, my nut & cheese free basil pesto.


7 Comments Add yours

  1. Love Exploring the Local Markets – Have a Great Weekend!

  2. Nicolle says:

    Love, love, love pesto. Thanks for showing different ways to make it 🙂

  3. jessicajorgensen says:

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. I never thought to put spinach or other hearty greens in my pesto, but we are getting so much of it from the CSA! I’d like to make a big batch and then freeze it. Do you think pesto will freeze well?

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