Does your pesto turn an olive color of brownish-green? For the secret ingredient to keep pesto green, keep reading.
It’s Healthy Kitchen Hacks Wednesday – the day we share our favorite time-saving kitchen tricks and cooking shortcuts to help you make healthy and delicious meals.
Now…onto today’s featured Healthy Kitchen Hack:
The Secret Ingredient to Keep Pesto Green
I’m counting down the days until our Farmers Market opens for the summer. Big bunches of basil will be in my basket in about 11 days. I wish I could say I’m growing it. But our garden
is under a jungle of weeds has been delayed this year.
If you’ve ever tried to make pesto from fresh basil, it often turns out looking rather dull-olive-green, instead of bright green like the basil leaves from which it’s made.
Now olive green pesto is still delicious. But if you’ve ever wondered why basil pesto doesn’t stay bright green? Here’s the answer:
- Basil is very fragile, even chopping the leaves turns them brown.
- Lemon juice does not stop the browning.
- Gently tearing basil leaves, instead of chopping them, does stop the browning.
But can you imagine tearing enough basil leaves into teeny-tiny pieces to produce pesto? Not fun. Can you guess? The Secret Ingredient to Keep Pesto Bright Green #HealthyKitchenHacks via @TspCurry Click To Tweet
So…drumroll, here’s the secret ingredient to keep pesto bright green.
It’s carrot tops!
They’re the carrot tops I used to always throw out. They are hearty greens and have a sweet carrot flavor. And carrot greens stay green, even in the food processor.
And, if you don’t have carrot tops, any hearty green like collard greens, mustard greens or even spinach will also work.
Bright Green Pesto with a Secret Ingredient
Make your pesto with this secret ingredient and it will stay bright basil-green instead of turning dull olive-green.
- Yield: 6 servings
- Category: sauce
1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons aged cheese (I used Cabot Sharp Cheddar)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup (lightly packed) basil leaves
1 cup (lightly packed) carrot top leaves, trimmed of lower tougher stems
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Place walnuts, garlic, cheese, salt, pepper in food processor and pulse 10 times.
Add basil and carrot top leaves, pressing them down. Turn on food processor and add olive oil in a stream through the top chute of the food processor; process about 30 seconds to 1 minute or until pesto reaches the desired consistency.
Did this trick work for you? Do you have other uses for carrot tops?