Basil Walnut Beet Pesto
“Beets are the Best”
Beets have been in season for the last few weeks and there are many ways to utilize this versatile root vegetable. The part of the beet we eat is grown underground by the plant and is the storage site of starch. Raw beets have a wonderful sweetness that changes with cooking.
After cutting a beet through the center and observing the complex pattern that emerges, it seems to have an other worldly intelligence. It is easy to marvel at the insides of vegetables and the complex means though which the nutrients are stored and utilized by the plant prior to their harvest. Beets can be eaten raw or steamed. When using raw beets as the base for a pesto, the resulting mixture can be used in many ways from topping a baked potato, garnishing a bowl of soup or placing in the center of a swiss chard roll to name a few. Utilizing extra virgin olive oil in the recipe gives the added benefit of this healthy polyunsaturated fat.
- 1 cup beets (can be mixture of gold and red)
- 1/2 cup raw walnuts
- Juice of one small lemon squeezed into small container first and seeds removed
- 1/4 cup of basil (about 10 medium leaves)
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium garlic clove
Place everything in the blender or food processor and puree for 1-2 minutes. Blending for longer time will make it less chunky so you can decide how chunky you would like it to be. A good idea is to check after the first minute and then if you would like the chunks smaller, keep blending. After blending, extra salt, lemon juice or olive oil can be stirred in to suit your taste preference as these flavors combine very easily. Also, you can double the ingredients for a larger batch.
About 10 minutes to make and 5 to clean the blender …however it can be done more quickly with some blenders.