Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Mustard Greens Pesto with Pecans and Asiago

Mustard Greens Pesto with Pecans and Asiago

Peppery mustard greens and toasted pecans form the base for this vegetarian sauce which freezes nicely for later enjoyment.

I thought the focus of my blog was how I feed my family from the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share, but my friend Laura astutely corrected me. I focus more on putting up the farm share, especially some weeks more than others it seems lately.

I've been canning and grilling and roasting and freezing like crazy lately. The table full of tomatoes became shelves in the basement full of filled canning jars. [Yet each week I hit the store for more lids, or caps, or jars. I thought they were vanishing into a black hole, but I realized it was just my son's backpack. Yay for back to school.]

Back to blog focus--this recipe is a wonderful example of how to put up greens when you are overwhelmed with a variety of options. I often simply cannot deal with such a variety of greens like we get in the farm share come cool weather, so anything I can put up for later saves my sanity. My inspiration comes from the Kale and Walnut Pesto recipe out of Farmer John's Cookbook: The Real Dirt on Vegetables (Amazon affiliate link). I swapped out the type of greens, the type of nuts, and even the type of cheese but kept the concept. This freezes well and is refreshing tossed with spaghetti sauce as we'll see next month.
Shown is Arugula pesto ready to go in the freezer for this yummy dish.

For other recipes using mustard greens, please see my Mustard Greens Recipe Collection, part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient a resource for folks like me eating from the farm share, the farmer's market, or garden. I've also got a Greens board on Pinterest where I share my finds from the web.

Mustard Greens Pesto with Pecans and Asiago

⅓ cup shelled pecans (can be broken, doesn't matter)
1 large bag (about ½ pound) mustard greens, washed
2 cloves garlic (or roasted garlic, if you've got some stashed away like I do)
½ cup shredded Asiago cheese
½ teaspoon salt (I use kosher as shown) plus more for the water if needed
several grinds freshly ground pepper
⅓ cup olive oil

Preheat a small dry skillet over medium high heat. Add in the pecans, and toast, shaking occasionally, until they are fragrant and start to brown. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Blanch the mustard greens. I did this by giving them a solid 3 minute dunk in simmering salted pasta water (then scooping them out of the pot and letting them drain while my pasta cooked) but if you're not cooking pasta feel free to briefly microwave the washed greens for 2-3 minutes, then drain.
Load the cooled pecans and garlic into a food processor and pulse a few times to break into small pieces. Add in the greens, cheese, salt and pepper and pulse to combine. With the food processor running on low, pour in oil slowly until incorporated. Scrape down the sides and process until well blended. Taste, and see if you'd like more salt or pepper. Serve or freeze (yes, I froze it with cheese inside). Good with pasta and spaghetti squash.

The whole thing, in a made-for-Pinterest nutshell:


  1. I like it although we've yet to get mustard greens in the farm share. For us, they keep it simple: lettuce, kale, the occasional Swiss Chard and Collards. I would love to get some other types of greens though like arugula, mustard and spinach.

    1. Meghan,
      I'd trade you for spinach. All the spinach, all the time. For smoothies.
      How's that for school lunch trading time? I'll give you my mustard greens for your spinach.

  2. I'm not a huge fan of mustard greens (when I get them in the CSA, I've been known to sigh deeply), but I'm willing to believe that this will be delicious. So the next time mustard greens come in my CSA bag, watch out!

    1. Laura,
      I understand the deep sigh oh too well.
      This helps with it, though!