Pesto made with Beet, Radish, and/or Turnip Greens

We just got our first farm share of the season last week (we have a CSA share at an organic, horse-powered vegetable farm down the road) and picked up (among other things) beets, radishes, and turnips. Normally we’d compost the greens, but even that felt wasteful… so guess what?!

Did you know that pesto doesn’t have to be made with basil?! I had no idea until my sister mentioned pesto made with radish greens.

I made a triple batch of this pesto using beet greens, and other batch using a mix of radish and turnip greens. They have a slight bitterness that basil pesto doesn’t have, but otherwise taste similar!


  • 2 heaping cups beet*, radish, and/or turnip greens, packed
  • ¼ cup nuts (cashews, walnuts, or pine nuts work great!)
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup grated parmesan
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)

*If you’re using beets, you don’t want the stems, just the leaves!


  1. Wash and dry the greens. Then, in a food processor or blender, mix together the basil, walnuts, olive oil, and parmesan until everything is well combined.
  2. Eat right away, store in the refrigerator, or freeze it! Tip from my mom: Try freezing it in ice cube trays!
Beet greens!
Ready to puree in the food processor!
Turnip & Radish Greens!