Thursday, May 10, 2012

Recipe: Green Garlic-Mint Pesto

I thought the Green Garlic-Mint Yogurt Dip was delicious and could not be topped. I was wrong. This new recipe for Green Garlic-Mint Pesto will knock your socks off and inspire you to run right out to find a pineapple-mint plant if you don't already have some growing in your yard.

(Full disclosure: Although I have tweaked these two green garlic-mint recipes, I was inspired by ones sent to me by my good friend and local 'Salsa Queen' Stefanie Stauffer, founder of Nightshade Army Industries, a local food company based in Ypsilanti, Michigan that makes an amazing array of hot sauces and salsas from locally-grown ingredients ("Ypsi-grown, Ypsi-made").)

Pesto is pesto and can be used on anything, pasta of course, but we use pesto as a sandwich spread, to top a baked potato, added to soups, added to egg or tuna salad, even hummus, and yes, I  confess, I sometimes indulge myself and just enjoy a spoonful. :)


• Pineapple-mint leaves - small bunch (discard stems) - I used about 1/2 cup slightly chopped
• curly parsley - small bunch - wash, dry, remove as many long stems as possible but do not obsess
• 4-6 stalks green garlic - wash carefully, trim roots leaving as much of the white clove as possible, trim away any brown tips, chop in medium chop, all of it
• 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
• 1/2 cup walnuts
• 2 Tbsp. olive oil
• salt to taste (just a small pinch)


1) Chop mint, parsley, and green garlic coarsely
2) Put mint, parsley, green garlic and walnuts into food processor and chop together until medium (do not let it become a pureƩ)
3) Add olive oil and lemon juice
4) Very briefly mix in processor until the consistency you want

Store in refrigerator, covering the top with just a thin layer of olive oil to maintain the fresh flavor if you do not use it all right away. Stir the oil in when you use it next. 

Here is one way I used this pesto when I found I was out of pasta but had some polenta. I heated the polenta in our cast-iron skillet, layered the slices on top of a mixed green salad, added a dab of pesto to each slice, a few drops of hot sauce for color (I would have preferred to have some spring radishes or even dried tomatoes(, and a generous sprinkle of grated hard cheese. (To be honest, this was a skimpy supper for both my husband and me, and we had popcorn later in the evening.)

I purposely chose to purchase this pineapple-mint to pair with the delicate green garlic hoping for an interesting but not overwhelming complement of flavors. I made a great choice. :)

How do you enjoy using pesto? What haven't I thought of?

Do you have other ways you enjoy green garlic? What haven't I mentioned yet?

There is still time to find some - maybe even in your own garden or by your backdoor (according to my friend Marjorie Johns, soap maker and garlic grower extraordinaire from St. John's, Michigan).

Cultivate your life - you are what you grow - inch by inch, row by row,

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

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