Turnip Top and Garlic Scape Pesto (Vegan)
Season- Early summer (June)
Okay so its early summer, your farm share is looking like a big box of foreign items, its your first box, what do you do with these unfamiliar green squiggly things!? And what about this bright green beautiful turnip and radish tops!? After using garlic scapes for a few seasons they quickly became my favorite ingredient- since they smell like garlic but taste a bit sweet I started using them on everything. For this super green pesto they serve as a bright garlic-y sweet base.
Hakurei turnips have also become my favorite sweeter alternative to radishes. This recipe can use either hakurei turnip or radish greens!
1 cup pistachios, shelled, roasted, unsalted (may substitute almonds)
1 bunch of Hakurei Turnips or Radishes (Just the greens and stems)
3 Garlic scapes (may substitute 2 garlic cloves)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (may substitute Parmagiano Reggiano)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly cracked pepper
Food processor recommended
*(If using blender, will need to use a softer nut like pine nuts or pecans and more olive oil)
*Prep your tops: Remove the top of the turnip greens from the turnip by cutting off or pulling off. Slice the top of the turnip off where the stems enter the turnip- this area can get extra dirty and gets cleaner if you slice off. Soak all of these, turnips included in a big bowl full of water that completely covers everything, adding 1 tablespoon of vinegar to help kill any germs. Soaking for 5-10 minutes allows the dirt from these root vegetables to soak to the bottom- rinsing off might not get it all. Once dirt free, use salad spinner or collander to let your greens dry. (*This can be done the day you purchase them then keep in air tight container in fridge to use the remainder of the week).
Soak your turnips and turnip tops
Blend garlic scapes in the food processor by themselves to a chopped consistency.
Add nuts, salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast to food processor, blend on high for 30 seconds, until well chopped but not buttery.
Add greens to food processor, making sure to push them down with a spatula into the spaces between to blades to help them blend easier. Then turn food processor to blend, gradually pouring in half the olive oil. If nothing is happening, stop blending and scrape the sides of the food processor to get everything closer to the blades. Repeat by adding the other half of your olive oil. Each set of greens is unique so add as much olive oil as you need to get to a pasty consistency.
Adjust salt and pepper to taste, or add more olive oil if you prefer a thinner consistency.
Serve with sliced radishes, on pasta, or spread on bread. Enjoy!
-Farmers Market Dietitian
Mindy Campbell, MS, RD, LDN