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"Melanin" Collard Greens Pesto {Recipe}

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Collard greens and cashew pesto - leveled up pesto with dynamite soul . It’s so freakin good you’ll want to eat it by the spoonful. The collard greens add character and depth without any added complexity.

cashew pesto in a white bowl

Collard greens are a healthy and nutritious vegetable and this cashew pesto helps to showcase its versatility. Not only are they versatile they play surprisingly well with the herbs, nuts, and cheese.

MOOD MUSIC

I like pesto at least conceptually. But I've always felt it was a little boring and in need of a little extra. These collard greens add a touch of melanin and make the pesto fly AF!

Collard Greens Pesto Ingredients 

  • Collard Greens
  • Olive oil
  • Cashews
  • Garlic Cloves
  • Grated Parmesan or Cotija Cheese
  • Lemon juice
  • Cilantro
  • Parsley

How To Make Cashew Pesto

This isn’t really a recipe but simple instructions for assembling. 

Prepare the Greens

Remove leaves from stems. Clean and slice the greens into thin strips. 

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Create an ice bath by placing ice cubes in a large bowl and filling with water.

Blanch the the greens by adding them to the boiling water for 1-2 minutes then remove and place in the ice bath to cool and stop the cooking.

Make the Pesto

Add the lemon juice, oil, garlic, cashews, herbs, and blanched greens to a food processor or blender.  Puree to desired consistency. Add more oil if you need to thin the pesto out. Note you may need to use a spatula tops the pureed pesto off the container down into the well for more pulsing.

Cashew Pesto Cooking Tips and Considerations

Traditional pesto is made using a mortar and pestle but I don’t recommend using one for this recipe as collard greens aren’t as delicate as typical pesto ingredients like basil.

Definitely use the pulse feature. This is closest replica to the mortar and pestle texture.

Pine nuts, are more traditional, but are super expensive which is why I use cashews, which also have more flavor in my opinion. If you have time, toast the cashews first to release even more of that nuttiness.

Depending on how much collards you’re working with feel free to pulse the collards in batches first before adding all the ingredients.

I typically make pesto from leftover collard green recipes like a collard greens salad

For a more emulsified sauce where the sauce stays together, you can pulse all the ingredients minus the oil first and then stream the oil in with a steady pulse.

cashew pesto in a white bowl

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What do you serve with Collard Greens Pesto?

This pesto goes great on toast/bruschetta and pasta like zoodles. I like it personally as a condiment to hot dogs or crust on roasted fish like mahi mahi. It’s particularly tasty with zoodles aka zucchini pasta.

How Do You Store Pesto?

I prefer to store my pesto in a glass mason jar. Plastic containers stain and become hard to clean. Add a little olive oil on top to seal that top layer then refrigerate. You’re likely good for about a week, I don’t know exactly because I put the pesto on everything for 2-3 days before running out.

Can You Freeze Cashew Pesto?

Yes as long as you use a freezer safe jar. Ice cube trays are also a good option. I like the large rubber trays used often as molds for cocktail ice cubes. When you’re ready to cook, leave the cubes out and allow it to thaw out. Then mix thawed pesto well.

More Recipes

Spaghetti Squash w/ Basil Pesto

Pasta Shells with Harissa Shrimp

Baby Kale Pesto

Creamy Israeli Couscous

Air Fryer Mahi Mahi w/ Pesto Crust

Southern Collard Greens

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cashew pesto in a white bowl

Collard Greens Pesto

Collard greens and cashew pesto - a flavorful twist on classic pesto. It’s so freakin good you’ll want to eat it by the spoonful.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 155kcal
Author: Marwin Brown

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch Collard Greens cleaned, de-stemmed, and cut into thin strips
  • ¼ cup Olive oil
  • cup Cashews
  • 4 whole Garlic Cloves
  • ¼ cup Grated Parmesan or Cotija Cheese
  • 1 Lemon juiced
  • ¼ cup packed fresh Cilantro
  • ¼ cup packed fresh Parsley

Instructions

Prepare the Greens

  • Remove leaves from stems. Clean and slice the greens into thin strips.
  • Bring a pot of water to a boil. Create an ice bath by placing ice cubes in a large bowl and filling with water.
  • Blanch the greens by adding them to the boiling water for 1-2 minutes then remove and place in the ice bath to cool and stop the cooking.

Make the Pesto

  • Add the lemon juice, oil, garlic, cashews, herbs, and blanched greens to a food processor or blender. Puree to desired consistency. Add more oil if you need to thin the pesto out.

Video

YouTube video

Nutrition

Calories: 155kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 72mg | Potassium: 165mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1885IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 132mg | Iron: 1mg
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