Recipe of the Week: Mrs. Alaska’s Greens Pesto Sauce

The following recipe for pestos from gardened and foraged greens was contributed by “Mrs. Alaska”.

Chef’s Introductory Notes: Although basil pesto is perhaps the best known commercial pesto, this delicious topping for cheese, pasta, fish, chicken or meat can be made with any combination of greens.
The crunchy element can be any nuts or edible seeds (like sunflower or pumpkin), and the emulsifying oil can be varied, too.
Herbs and spices (like garlic) can be added or omitted.
Pesto Experimentation
This summer, I have made eight different pestos with:
Foraged Greens:
  • Chickweed (bright and grassy tasting)
  • Lamb’s Quarter (mild)
  • Sorrel (citrusy)
(The three above have a creamier texture than those below).
Vegetable Garden Leaves:
  • Mustard (my personal favorite)
  • Radish
  • Horseradish (just a little goes a long way!)
  • Nasturtium  (milder than I expected from this plant)
  • Mint
Ingredient Proportions
The proportions of these ingredients can be adjusted for personal preference, but the range to consider is:
  • 2-3 cups of raw greens
  • 1/2 cup of nuts or seeds  (toasting first elevates the flavor)
  • 1/2 cup cheese (this is optional, but I usually add parmesan or feta)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup of oil (I usually use olive oil, but have also enjoyed walnut oil and sesame oil)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (optional)

Whirl them in a food processor to a smooth or chunky consistency, as preferred.


The bright color of the pesto will fade in the refrigerator after a few days, but this does freeze well.  Because it incorporates raw greens, it is not recommended for canning.

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  1. Great post. Thank you!
    My wife makes fresh pesto.
    She freezes it in plastic ice cube trays then stores the cubes in zip lock bags.
    One or two cubes get thawed as required when she uses the pesto.
    She told me the ice cube trays clean up nicely in the dishwasher.
    I am sure I could scrub them clean in the sink.

    Thanks for the new recipes.

  2. Thank you, Mrs. Alaska! Especially loved the way your recipe provides for variation on the theme, and includes thoughts on the proportions or ratios that make that experimentation possible (and surely more successful). Pesto is a delightful addition to dinner, and so this is especially useful and timely too!

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