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!

Sweet Potato and Beet Salad



Serves 4-6

  • 1 head red lettuce
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 bunch of beets
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • pepper & salt, to taste
  • 3/4 cup crumbled goat cheese (omit to make vegan)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • balsamic vinegar & olive oil (or salad dressing of your choice)


Preheat oven to 415°F

  1. Wash and peel the sweet potatoes. If you like the skin, feel free to leave it on. Chop the sweet potato into 1/2″ bite size pieces.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the sweet potato in salt and pepper, to taste. Bake the sweet potatoes at 415 F for 15-20 minutes, until they are slightly soft.
  3. Wash the beets, then chop off the top and bottom. If some of the beets are really large, cut them in half so they cook more evenly. Place the beets on a tinfoil lined baking sheet.
  4. Brush the tops and bottoms of the beets with ~2 teaspoons olive oil. Place a sheet of tinfoil over the beets, pressing the corners in to seal them inside. Bake at 415°F for approximately an hour.
  5. When the beets are done, wait for them to cool and then peel the skins off. The skins should come off fairly easily, and you should be able to remove it with your fingers. Chop the beets into 1/2″ bite size pieces.
  6. Place the sweet potatoes and beets in a bowl. Add the goat cheese, then toss until well combined.
  7. Make a big salad bowl with the lettuce, sweet potatoes, and beets, or assemble individual bowls. Sprinkle walnuts on top. Serve with olive oil and vinegar, or a dressing of your choice.