Magic Green Sauce: A Versatile, Super-Green Pesto

What if we told you there’s a magic sauce that can dress just about any salad, be drizzled over most meats, tossed into pasta as a quick sauce and even double as a super-green dip? What if we told you such a sauce was packed with nutrients and flavor? Lastly, what if we told you that you probably already have the ingredients for this ‘magic sauce’ in the depths of your refrigerator just waiting to be employed? Brace yourself. It’s all true … This recipe for a herby, green, multi-purpose pesto made with deep, leafy greens and bright herbs is a great way to use up the tops of carrots or even beet greens that might need to be trimmed from your garden. Simply blend your greens with a handful of nuts (we like pine nuts or pepitas), garlic, lemon, olive oil, a touch of vinegar and maybe a bit of grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese. Then, add it to cooked pasta for a fresh sauce, stir it into rice bowls for a boost of bright flavors, whisk it with a bit of water to create a flavorful salad dressing or even stir a spoonful into your favorite hummus for a customized snack kick.

under 2 mins
dinner lunch

Ingredients for servings

  • 2 tablespoon pepitas pine nuts or almonds, toasted

  • 0.5 cup leafy greens such as young carrot tops, beet tops with red ribs removed and leaves chopped or kale leaves

  • herbs cup flat-leaf parsley, cilantro, basil, arugula, chives or green onions

  • 0.5 shallot minced

  • Zest of one lemon plus juice of 1/2 lemon

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 1 cup olive oil

  • Kosher salt to taste

  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

  • 2 tablespoon freshly shredded pecorino or Parmesan cheese optional


  • In the bowl of a food processor or high-speed blender, combine the nuts, greens, shallot, garlic, salt, and zest. Pulse until chunky. Add the olive oil, lemon, and balsamic vinegar and process until smooth. Transfer to an airtight container. It will stay fresh for up to one week.

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