Chard Pesto


Chard Pesto

From The Call of the Farm by Rochelle Bilow

You can make pesto with just about any green, and while basil tends to get the most attention, I think raw chard adds a welcome heartiness. It isn’t the most vibrant green color once it’s mixed up (in fact, it’s quite brown), but give it a chance anyway. I like to eat this pesto slathered on bread.

Makes 2 cups

1 cup walnuts

2 fat garlic cloves

4 cups coarsely chopped chard leaves, stems removed (save the stems for another use)

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon pumpkinseed oil

1/3 cup whole ricotta cheese

Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Spread the walnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet, and place in the oven. Roast for 8 to 10 minutes, until the nuts smell fragrant. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before proceeding.

Smash and peel the garlic cloves, then drop them in the bowl of a food processor. Run the machine until they’re finely pureed, scrapping down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Add the walnuts, then pulse 4 to 5 times, until the nuts are broken up but still chunky. Add the chard. With the processor running, add the oils in a stream, then transfer the pesto to a medium mixing bowl. Use a wooden spoon to stir in the cheese, then season to taste.

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