Open Arms of Minnesota

Weekly Recipe #262: CSA Pesto

Photo credit: Becky Stern/Flickr

Subscribing to an Open Farms CSA share encourages imagination in the kitchen, as you’re continually presented with a new combination of delicious produce.

Our Senior Director of Programs April Bogard advises creativity if you find yourself with a plethora of greens. She offers a flexible recipe for pesto below, along with an example of how she applied the formula to a recent batch of Open Farms veggies.

Once you’ve created your own unique spread, use it to liven up pasta, drizzle over breakfast eggs, spread on sandwiches, replace your typical pizza sauce, smear on bruschetta…the pesto possibilities are endless!

CSA Pesto


  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 cups of fresh herbs or leaves (Lots of green things work! Don’t be afraid to experiment with a combination of basil, carrot tops, kale, arugula, oregano, spinach, mint, cilantro, etc)
  • ½ cup oil (Experiment here, too: olive oil, walnut oil, pumpkin seed oil or a combination)
  • ¼ cup toasted nuts (Pine nuts, walnuts, almonds, cashews, pecans, pistachios, etc.)
  • ½ cup cheese (Again, there are lots of options – use a hard grating cheese like parmesan, pecorino, asagio, manchego, romano, etc.)
  • Salt and pepper
  • A squeeze of fresh lemon (optional)


  1. In food processor, pulse garlic clove until roughly chopped.
  2. Add all the green leaves to the food processor and chop until leaves are in small pieces.
  3. Add the oil slowly and process until combined.
  4. Add the nuts and process until they are finely chopped.
  5. Add the cheese and blend until everything is incorporated.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. A squeeze of fresh lemon is great to really brighten up the flavors. Add more oil if you want the consistency to be thinner.

April experimented with this version from her CSA box last week:

  • 1 CSA garlic clove
  • 1½ cups CSA carrot tops (from 3 carrots, frilly leaves only, not the stems)
  • ¼ cup CSA basil leaves
  • ¼ cup CSA dino kale leaves
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup toasted walnuts
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese
  • A squeeze of fresh lemon
  • Salt and pepper

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