Harvest Box Recipe: Make Pesto!

By Christina Wilton, DragonflyThrive Health

The harvest box keeps building a meal plan for me – seasonal and fresh.

This week I saw dandelion greens and heaps of basil and knew tonight’s dinner would be… Pesto! Rounded out with some gnocchi and smoked tofu (found at West Wood, of course) and I had a quick and nutritious dinner.

Pesto has endless combinations and it’s a great way to get fresh, and fibre-rich greens into your dinner – and it’s ready so quickly.

Tonight’s pesto I used about 3 leaves of these big beautiful dandelion greens, 2 carrot tops (can we say ’zero food waste’) and 2 handfuls of basil. I chose hemp seeds – more affordable than my favourite pine nuts – which gave the pesto extra protein.

My pesto was ready before the water had boiled for the gnocchi. I chose to pan-fry the smoked tofu for more texture and once the gnocchi was strained, I tossed all the ingredients into the pan with tofu.

This week’s bin also had parsley and tomatoes, which I thought would be a great garnish for my plate 🙂

Go on, give it a try. If you missed the Harvest box this week, a pesto is a great way to use up greens in your fridge and make room for next week’s harvest box.


Prep time: 10 min | Cook time: 5 min | Total time: 15 min | Yield: 1½ cups

½ c nuts or seeds: walnut, pine nut, hemp, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, pecans
2 c greens: basil, arugula, kale, parsley, spinach, purslane, dandelion, cilantro, carrot tops
1 Tbsp lemon juice
½ c olive oil
¼ tsp salt
1 clove garlic, smashed and chopped

4 Tbsp grated hard cheese: pecorino or parmesan (or 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast)

1. If you have time, toast the nuts or seeds lightly for added flavour but cool them before you combine with other ingredients.
2. Clean and spin greens of choice. Mixing greens will keep from having any one flavour too dominant.
3. Rough chop nuts and greens before placing everything except cheese in the blender or food processor. If using nutritional yeast, it can be added now. Just pulse until chunky and mixed.
4. Stir in cheese if using.
5. Fold a generous portion into warm pasta, zoodles, gnocchi or add to a sandwich.
6. Store unused pesto in air tight jar – be sure the top layer is oil to keep from brown oxidization of the greens (basil especially)

Great flavour pairings:
– basil & parsley with pine nuts
– kale and almonds
– arugula & pecans
– spinach & cilantro with pumpkin seeds
– dandelion & purslane with walnu

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