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Pink Pesto

This pretty pesto has everything we love about a beet salad: the goat cheese, the toasted nuts, that beety earthiness! Gorgeous and delicious tossed with hot pasta and a knob of butter, or with white fish, it’s a feast for the eyes and the tummy! Do try to find cold-pressed extra-virgin canola oil; it has a nuttiness that’s out of this world.


8 cups (2 L) lightly packed beet tops (a.k.a., beet greens), from about 1 bunch of beets with long stems and leaves
1 cup (250 mL) grated washed and scrubbed raw unpeeled red beets
1 cup (250 mL) lightly packed coarsely chopped chives
½ cup (125 mL) unsalted roasted almonds
½ cup (125 mL) cold-pressed virgin canola oil
1 cup (250 mL) grated hard goat or sheep’s milk cheese, such as Beemster or pecorino
1 tsp (5 mL) sea salt


  1. Separate the beets from beet greens. Then separate stems from leaves.
  2. Coarsely chop stems and add to bowl of a food processor; blend on high to break down well. This will break the fibres and release some colour.
  3. Add beet leaves and pulse to break down just enough to make room for rest of ingredients.
  4. Add grated beet, chives, almonds, canola oil, cheese and salt. Blend on high until fairly smooth (a few recognizable bits are fine).
Makes approximately 3 cups (750 mL)


Pesto keeps very well in the fridge — up to a week — and freezes well too. These are pretty big batches, so we suggest storing some in a covered container in the fridge and freezing the rest for another time.



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