Put Those Wilted Greens To Good Use In Your Next Pesto

Pesto, as many know, is a paste formed by crushing together parmesan, olive oil, garlic, pine nuts, and, of course, basil. Pesto is refreshing, it has a lighter feel than tomato-based sauces, and its fresh ingredients bring a vibrance to myriad dishes. Basil pesto is what most people imagine when they think of pesto; in Italian, this is called pesto all Genovese, named after the place it comes from — Genoa. However, many more types of pesto besides basil are made in Italy, like mint and arugula, and these can serve as inspiration for you to use the different qualities of various greens and explore new pesto combinations. One great place to start, for instance, is with those wilted greens in your fridge.

Meal planning is not always easy, nor is grocery shopping, so we inevitably have wilting greens in the fridge from time to time. When you're trying to come up with ways to use those greens before they turn from wilted to rotted, consider pesto as a way to liven them back up. Whether you have spinach, kale, or even herbs like dill or chives, they can mash up into a lovely pesto with parmesan, olive oil, garlic, and nuts of any variety.

Green pesto packs on the flavor

There is lots of room to get creative with how you use and prepare pesto. Experimenting with different nuts, like cashews or walnuts, and combining herbs of multiple varieties can keep pesto new and exciting. No matter what wilted green you have on hand, the combinations can't go wrong. One extra step for a more vibrant pesto sauce is to blanch your vegetables, which will prevent the greens from oxidizing and will extend the pesto's life. The product will be a fresh and herbaceous condiment that you can store in a jar in the fridge and add to dishes at your disposal.

The most obvious way to put your pesto to use is in pasta. Roasting more veggies or even grilling meat and tossing it to the pesto pasta will bring texture and variety to the dish. Moreover, pesto makes an excellent sauce for meats of all kinds. The contrast between a tender chicken breast, for example, and veggie-forward pesto will make for a great pairing and an even better meal served in a sandwich with some tomato and cheese. For a light but flavorful breakfast, you can fry a couple of eggs in your customized pesto sauce and add them to slices of crusty sourdough. Your box of wilted greens will be thanking you, and so will your taste buds.