At the end of October, when the nights are getting cool, we no longer have basil to harvest. But there are other greens that also make delicious pesto and today’s recipe provides a colorful twist on a favorite dish. I used three greens we have in the garden right now. You might use kale or mustard instead of chard, or parsley instead of cilantro. The beauty of a garden pesto is that you can take advantage of the greens that you have in abundance.
About equal parts of chard, cilantro, nasturtium leaves, and nasturtium flowers. I cut the center rib out of the chard leaves, but this is optional.
Roasted garlic – I used two cloves but I usually roast an entire head and then save the rest for later in the week.
Olive oil – I used two to three tablespoons for this entire batch. You could add cream, half-and-half, or more oil to taste.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Optional: nuts or Parmesan cheese.
The key is to blend the garlic, oil and greens first and only pulse the flowers for a brief half-second or two. You want to be able to see the colorful petal flakes!
You could serve this pesto on pasta, or on any vegetable. I think that steamed beans or sticks of summer squash would be very good. We piled it on halibut tonight and it was very tasty. It is interesting that the nasturtium leaves which are so zesty when eaten in a salad are much more mild in this pesto.