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Basil and Leafy Greens Power Pesto

 

Yields:  about 1 cup of pesto   Prep Time:  10 minutes       Total Time:  10 minutes

 

This pesto packs a punch when it comes to nutrition – chock full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.  It adds a savory twist to any noodle dish, and is bursting with fresh garden flavor.

 

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 tablsepoons olive oil

1 tablespoon water

1 medium sized clove of garlic

1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon fresh parsley leaves

1/2 teaspoon salt

 

10 ounces dry spaghetti (or preferred pasta) 

 

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

 

Directions

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.

 

3. 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.

 

Being a Friday, I knew we were going to have pasta tonight.  It’s the end of the week, I’m tired and it’s hot.  For me, I always try to have some degree of heightened nutrition than just plain buttered noodles.  So, I decided to make our traditional pesto with garden fresh ingredients, this time adding a bit of extra greens to the mix.

 

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!

 

My youngest two really enjoy pungent flavors, especially when the basil combines with the salty Parmesan cheese and kick of garlic.  My oldest is not a fan of the strong flavors, so for her, I just use half the amount of pesto when combining with her noodles.  See what I mean about being adaptable?  I, of course, add triple the spoonfuls, as I ever can get enough raw garlic.

 

 

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!

 

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