HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Pesto with other greens?

I have a ton of kale, broccoli rabe, and some other greens (that i actually can't identify....dunno what to do about that) from my CSA box. Too much for 2 people to eat comfortably before they go bad. I've heard of people making pesto with these greens but I admit I'm a bit dubious. Has anyone else done this? Is broccoli rabe pesto actually good? Does anyone have any good recipes?
Otherwise, any similar suggestions for what I can do with all these greens would be very welcome.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/685076

    arugula and spinach are also simple swaps for basil.

    oh, and if you snap a picture of the unidentified greens and post it here, i'm sure we can all help you figure it out ;)

    1. I've tried making pesto with kale and broccoli rabe and it just wasn't good. There's too much bitterness in the rapini and too much of a chlorophyll punch in the kale. I would suggest using the broccoli rabe now and freezing the kale. If some of what you've got in your basket are mustard greens, they pickle very well and are a nice addition to sandwiches, soups and salads later in the year. I add a few kale leaves to my fruit smoothies in the morning. It adds a lot of nutrients and some fiber and the flavor blends in surprisingly well with frozen berries and banana.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ninrn

        did you blanch the greens in salted water before using them in pesto?

      2. I've tried pesto with other green but not been thrilled with the result - compared to the basil based ones, it's kind of bland. I think you would need to augment the greens with something strongly flavoured.

        For the sturdier greens, poach them in water, puree, and freeze for later use in soups.

        1. I've tried arugula pesto and found that it loses the arugula-y punch of the green in its original state. I usually just throw it under a steak with some olive oil, lemon juice and parmesan, Italian-style. I also really like parsley pesto, which always seems to keep better than the basil version.

          Kale is yucky, so I don't know what to do with it. Put it around seafood displays like at the supermarket?

          2 Replies
          1. re: Rosiepigs

            Have you tried kale chips in the oven? Several threads here about this. Delicious!

            1. re: Rosiepigs

              wow, my arugula pesto has lots of punch, I'm surprised to hear that.

            2. These types of greens if they were mine, would end up in a soup or stew of it's own or alone. Pesto is okay if you're going to add it to a pasta or potato dish. You could even make a bread of it and use the "pesto" as a swirled in addition. I 'd make sure to use plenty of basil, garlic and a little red pepper flakes. You could stuff a huge potato with the broccoli rabe pesto, or even make ravioli. Take the chimichurri sauce route adding acid to use on beef or chicken.

              1. Made a few times with cilantro. As a big fan of cilantro, was nothing like basil, but was pleased with the result.

                1. I make pesto with a mixture of spinach and basil and it's very good. I use walnuts instead of pine nuts, and add chilli flakes but it's otherwise a pretty standard recipe. I think you need to add basil to keep it tasty. Maybe it would work with the kale, not sure about the broccoli rabe, since I've never eaten it. You can freeze it in small amounts to use later (some people leave out the cheese before freezing but I don't.)

                  Other uses for greens would be to make minestrone or white bean soup - I always add greens to those. Black-eyed peas with greens are also good. And I make lasagna with spinach mixed into the rocotta cheese- I think kale and other greens would be good this way too. I also mix greens into vegetable casseroles, and pasta dishes. I have some recipes on my blog if you want to check them out. You could also make a chimicurri sauce with fresh cilantro and mixed greens. I freeze that too. How lucky you are to have a ton of greens :)