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

See more weekly recipes>>
Cook with us in the Open Arms kitchen! Sign up for a volunteer orientation>>
Support fresh, delicious meals for people living with life-threatening illnesses by donating to Open Arms>

More from Open Arms

Open Arms Thanksgiving Efforts Featured on KARE 11

KARE 11 reporter Samie Solina visited our Minneapolis kitchen during the week of Thanksgiving to talk to volunteers and highlight our efforts to deliver thanksgiving dinners to our clients and their loved ones. She also interviewed Tricia, an Open Arms client. Watch the video

Read More »

St. Paul Kitchen & Campus Opening Soon!

Open Arms is set to open the St. Paul Kitchen & Campus! Here’s everything you need to know!! Open Arms of Minnesota will open our brand-new St. Paul Kitchen and Campus the first week in January, positioning us to serve even more clients in

Read More »

Open Arms Receives Regional Philanthropy Award

Open Arms named a Regional Philanthropy Award recipient at the 2022 Fundraise North Conference by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Minnesota Chapter Open Arms was one of the recipients of a Regional Philanthropy Award on Thursday, Nov. 10 at the 2022 Fundraise North Conference

Read More »