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Beet Pesto Pizza

Beet scraps turned into a bright, sweet pesto.

In the last few weeks, TH and I have taken menu planning up full on. From meatballs and barbecue chicken to frittatas, we’ve been cooking delicious and healthy, produce-packed meals almost every night, with plenty of leftovers for lunches. And it’s felt wonderfully fulfilling to have a fridge full of sauces, salads, sides, and snacks to dip into every day.

But even with our mealtime plans, a fridge full of produce, and plenty of leftovers, can get away from you. Last week our side of sautéed beet greens was put on halt for a few days—swapped in with a salad from the night before—and by the time we were ready for the beets, the greens were just a tad bit wilted. So I buzzed the greens up with the stems, added some almonds and Parmigianino, and ended with a delicious batch of beet green pesto, perfectly bright pink from the stems. Beet greens are rich in potassium, calcium, Vitamin A, and other vitamins and minerals, and have a slightly sweet taste. The pesto was a wonderful topping on pasta with capers, and it made an even better pizza, along with fresh mozzarella and roasted eggplant.

No matter how you use it, this beet pesto is a great way to use your beet greens (my new favorite for the whole beets is a wonderful salad with fennel, mint, and orange). It just goes to show, you really can use every little piece and part of your prep. No longer is pesto just basil and pine nuts; you can sub in radish greens, ramps, and a variety of other greens, and whatever nuts you happen to have. It’s just another way to enjoy your vegetables and greens too!

Beet Pesto
Serves: 1 cup
1 bunch beet greens and stems, washed and dried
2 garlic cloves
¼ cup toasted almonds
½ cup Parmigianino Reggiano
½ cup olive oil
Juice from lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper  

Buzz the beet greens, stems, garlic cloves, almonds, and cheese in a food processor. Add in the olive oil and lemon juice until the mixture is thoroughly combined and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Pesto Mozzarella Pizza
Serves: 4
½ cup Beet Pesto
1 prepared pizza crust
8 slices fresh mozzarella
1 roasted eggplant, cubed
Basil, chiffonade

Spread the beet pesto on the pizza crust. Top with the mozzarella, roasted eggplant, and basil. Bake at 400°F for 8 to 10 minutes, until crust is toasted and cheese is melted.