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Chard Pesto

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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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