Mixed Greens Pesto

Another week of fresh produce. As I look at my produce share I see GREENS. Lots’ of them so I want to use those. Last week I did a “single” vegetable dish so this week I wanted to do a mixed vegetable dish.

The word pesto comes from the Genoese word pestâ (Italian: pestare), which means to pound, to crush. Because pesto is a generic term for anything that is made by pounding, there are various other pestos to be made. I have made them using spinach and lettuces but never anything as strong as kale and chard. So the story goes…


3-6 cloves of garlic
2 T horse radish (optional) or other strong spice
1 Lime juiced or 3 tsp vinegar or lemon juice
¼ C Almonds or a big handful or a nut that you have on hand.
⅓ C oil (I used toasted sesame oil) any oil would work because you are not heating it.
½ an individual share of greens. I cut out the stems of the kale and chard. (reserve for later, these can be made into
a stock to cook grains in).
Look around…I had a red onion.
Red pepper or any raw colorful crisp veg could work.
Thin slices of parmesan cheese (optional)
1 Part Barley
2 Parts Water
Sea Salt and Freshly ground Pepper

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to serve my pesto on so I decided to do a grain instead of pasta. You can serve it on anything you like pesto on. Roasted cauliflower is a favorite of mine. To make the barley. Wash and dry roast your pearled barley. Boil water. When both are hot put them together. Hot to Hot. This helps to keep the grains from being sticky although barley will still be chewy. Reduce heat to simmer and put a lid on the pot for about 45 minutes. (I use a heat diffuser for most simmering over ½ an hour. If your stove doesn’t have a really low simmer I’d put the $5.00 into one. The best $ 5 bucks I’ve ever spent. They keep the bottoms of many dishes from burning.)

In a food processor chop garlic, almonds and a pinch of salt. Pulse-pulse. Then add the greens. Pulse-pulse. Scrape the sides down. Add the lime juice or a vinegar and oil. Pulse -pulse. Salt and Pepper. Pulse- pulse.

As I added things I kept tasting and smelling. I kept getting overwhelmed by the thought of a green smoothie and that is not what I was trying to make so I decided it needed something.

An interesting thing about flavors is that any of the other four can fix the overpowering one. The overpowering taste was bitter. The five tastes are: Salty – Sour – Pungent – Sweet – and Bitter. I already used salty (sea salt) and sour (lime) and pungent (garlic) and I don’t want sweet so I looked around in my fridge and pulled out horseradish. Smelled it. Yes. Tasted it with a little of the pesto. Yes. And added a spoonful and tasted it. Added another. Yes.

Mixed the pesto with the cooked barley. Top with a little red onion, chopped parsley and a little parmesan cheese.

Mixed Green Pesto leftovers? Add some to a breakfast burrito made with farm fresh, pasture eggs from Dansky’s Dragonfly Ranch, Sand Lily Goat Farm or DD Ranch and some Cada Dia cheddar cheese.

In Health,


Lisa F. Ehlers CN.,CH


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