Pink Pesto

This is a good one for all of you parents struggling with picky non-veggie eaters. I found a while ago that cooking with color worked wonders. “Ooh! Look at this purple spiky thing! What do you think purple tastes like?” And then, boom, kid’s eating purple cauliflower and dipping it in hummus and I’m high-fiving myself. I also find that involving the kiddo in meal planning for the week helps too. I usually try to get her help selecting at least one meal or all the sides or something like that. I find that encourages her to at least taste some things she might not otherwise taste, and discover she actually likes a wider variety of options (thus allowing me to grow our weekly rotation). A few weeks ago we were looking at food blogs together, and came across this post. And those two things came together – color + involving her in planning. PINK! This Tiny Sous Chef loves pink like nothing else – we HAD to try it. So tonight we finally did, with some tweaks and modifications, and it is a SERIOUS winner. Unlike traditional basil pesto, the bite is softened dramatically by the beets, which offer a gentle, luscious, flavor and texture. Still, it holds its own and satisfied all the eaters – no leftovers at all! Note, this recipe makes about 4X what you need for a Here you go.

* 3 small to medium-sized beets, washed
* 3t minced garlic
* zest and juice of 1 lemon
* 1/2C pinenuts
* 2T red wine vinegar
* 1/3C olive oil, plus more if needed for consistency
* 1/2-1t fine sea salt
* 1/2C grated Parmesan cheese

WHAT TO DOpinkpesto1
Bring a pot of water to boil and then add the beets to it. Cook about 30-45 minutes, fork-testing the beets for tenderness after 30. Remove from heat and run under cold water. The skin should peel back just with a little rubbing by hand.

Cut the beets into small pieces and add to a blender or food processor. Add the rest of the pesto ingredients, leaving the olive oil and Parmesan cheese aside. Blend until well combined. Then add the Parmesan and blend again. With the machine on, stream in the olive oil until you reach the consistency and texture you like for your pesto. Taste and add more salt or olive oil if necessary.

Add your beautiful bright pink pesto to pasta, serve it as a dipping sauce for garlic bread, or in a cold pasta and veggie or potato salad for your next summer potluck barbecue. And save the extra — if you’re not going to use the rest within the next week, it’ll freeze well, too, so you can pull it out when you need a fix! Enjoy!

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