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Do you ever think back to something you’ve said and sort of kick yourself a little for how it came out? It’s never intentional to blurt out the response as it was, and it somehow always sounds better when revised later in your head.

I’ve slowly realized that I have a rather strange habit that I can’t seem to stop. When someone complements me on say, something that I’m wearing, instead of just saying thank you and acknowledging the compliment, I launch into the details of where said item was purchased and how much it cost. I think I picked this habit up while studying abroad (nearly 15 years ago now!) and I can’t seem to shake it. I guess I started preempting the questions related to¬†origin. But here, the questions of origin don’t necessarily follow. And it’s not always the most polite or appropriate thing to blurt out the price of an item (whether $5, $50, or $500).

So now that I’ve become more conscious of this habit, I want to try to change it. Next time someone complements me on my bright green scarf, I’ll say thank you, or agree that the color is cheerful on a dark winter day and makes me happy. Because a pop of bright green does seem to banish the winter blahs. This works on your plate as well as your pate {bad-pun groan here}.

greenest pesto pasta

This pesto falls into that same category of shockingly green, refreshing, energizing, and one more way to shoo-off any wintertime negativity. Seriously, I was shocked at how vibrant it turned out. You’ll have to make it yourself to see if it really does banish winter blahs, especially given how easy this is to make. In the amount of time it takes to boil and cook your pasta, you’ll have a delicious, nutritious, and beautifully green sauce to impress your friends. And you won’t even have to tell them how much it cost or where it came from (although do feel free to brag that it came right from your own kitchen!).

Greenest of Pestos

1 bunch swiss chard, washed (not dried)
1/2 c. onion
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 avocado
1/2 tsp. salt
4+ Tbsp. olive oil
1 c. raw cashews
pepper (to taste)
hemp hearts to serve

greenest pesto1. In a small bowl, cover cashews with water and set aside. This is also a good time to put up the water for your pasta.
2. Loosely chop chard and onion.
3. To blender, add chard, onion, lemon juice, olive oil, and some of the pasta cooking water. I start with one ladle of water and slowly add more as needed.
4. Blend on high to puree all ingredients. Stop to stir/push down contents of blender as needed. I had to add my chard in stages so my blender could handle all of the fibrous leaves. Add more water if needed by blender.
5. When beginning to break down, add avocado, salt and pepper.
6. Blend, blend, blend!
7. Drain and rinse cashews. Add to blender.
8. Blend until smooth, creamy and vibrantly green.
9. When pasta is cooked, drain and return to pot.
10. Turn heat of pot back on to lowest setting, add pesto to pot and stir to coat pasta well. Stir for a minute or two to make sure everything is well combined and the pesto has been heated.
11. Serve and enjoy. Garnish with hemp hearts or parmesan cheese for added pizzaz.

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