Who says basil has to be the only leafy ingredient in pesto? Not us! Recently we presented a class on “Eating for Energy” and highlighted the leafy greens that packed the most powerful punch. This green that is sometimes hard to love because of its strong flavor can easily blend into a craveable pesto that not only tastes good, but is good-for-you, too.

A couple of bonuses with this recipe is that it has no nuts – so no problem serving it up to friends with nut allergies. Also no need to take the tough ribs out of the collards – they will process up perfectly along with the leaves. And finally, olives stuffed with garlic add just the right “pickley and briny” flavor to the dip. Saving you the step of peeling and chopping garlic before putting it in the processor.

Basil adds lots of flavor and a ton of nutrition! Basil contains water soluble flavonoids which can help to protect white blood cells. Basil has also been known to help fight free radical damage. It is also a strong anti-oxidant. Studies have now shown that basil may have the ability to act as an adaptogen to help the body more efficiently handle stress. Now that’s double to reason to enjoy this wonderful green pesto! 

Collard Green Pesto

  • 1 ½ – 2 LBS Collard Greens
  • ½ Jar Green Olives stuffed with Garlic
  • ¼ Cup Packed Basil
  • 1/3 Cup Water
  • 1 Tsp Lemon Juice
  • ½ Tsp Sea Salt
  • ½  Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • ½ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ½ Cup Grated Pecorino Romano

Step One

Cook the collards in a stockpot in salted boiling water about 15 minutes or until tender. Drain in a colander and coarsely chop.

Step Two

Chop the olives in a food processor. Add the collards, basil, water, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Add in the oil slowly. Remove to a bowl and stir in the pecorino.


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