Swiss Chard Pesto

swiss-chard

This year our garden yielded lots of Swiss chard and basil.  We needed a way to use them both up so they wouldn’t go to waste.  So I thought why not combine them both in a pesto!   I tried this recipe a few times to perfect it and now it’s ready to share.   Below is the recipe I came up with as well as some suggestions to try and make it differently.

What I used:

2 cups basil
1 cup Swiss chard
½ cup lightly toasted almonds
4 cloves of garlic
½ cup of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Lightly toast almonds in a frying pan for 5 minutes.
  2. Add almonds to food processor or blender and grind up.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the olive oil and blend.  Note: if you are using a blender like I did the first time just add a little bit at a time, otherwise the blender will not be able to puree the basil and Swiss chard well enough.
  4. Add oil intermittently while blending mixture.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste and mix pesto into pasta.  I used Eco Chef’s mung bean pasta which is gluten free and high in protein and fibre.  Very tasty combination.  However, if you do want to use this pasta make sure you read the instructions first!  It is not made the same as other pastas and I recommend cooking the pasta for 7-8 minutes instead of the recommended 12 minutes.  This way the pasta won’t break apart when you are adding the pesto.  I also threw in some sautéed chanterelle mushrooms and some cherry tomatoes from our garden.

What’s Healthy about This Meal:

Other than the pasta, this is essentially a raw food meal and the pesto is loaded with lots of nutrients.  The Swiss chard and basil are a source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, A and K.  The almonds provide calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin E and folate.  Garlic is an immune booster and has antibacterial and antiviral properties.  And don’t forget the lycopene in the tomatoes!

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