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Milk Street Bowtie Red Beet and Walnut Pesto

Red Beet and Walnut Pesto

Appears in July-August 2021

10 minutes

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Red Beet and Walnut Pesto

Free

Milk Street Facebook Community member Mia Lieberman of Watertown, Massachusetts, makes a colorful pesto with roasted beets. Toasted walnuts and salty Parmesan cheese complement the beets' natural sweetness, and a little lemon brightens up the flavors. Store-bought cooked beets make this a breeze to throw together; you’ll find them in the refrigerated produce section of the supermarket. This recipe makes enough pesto to sauce 1 pound of pasta (reserve a little pasta water to add while tossing); Liberman also recommends it on pizza and we think it makes a fantastic spread on sandwiches.

1

cup

Tip

Don’t process the pesto until smooth. The texture is best when it’s a little chunky.

10 minutes

4 ounces cooked red beets, cut into rough 1-inch chunks
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 medium garlic clove, smashed and peeled
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, finely grated (½ cup)
1/4 cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Ingredients
  • 4

    ounces cooked red beets, cut into rough 1-inch chunks

  • 1

    teaspoon grated lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 1

    medium garlic clove, smashed and peeled

  • ½

    cup walnuts, toasted

  • 1

    ounce Parmesan cheese, finely grated (½ cup)

  • ¼

    cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • ¼
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Red Beet and Walnut Pesto

Get Ready to Cook

1

cup

10 minutes

Tip

Don’t process the pesto until smooth. The texture is best when it’s a little chunky.

Ingredients
  • 4

    ounces cooked red beets, cut into rough 1-inch chunks

  • 1

    teaspoon grated lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 1

    medium garlic clove, smashed and peeled

  • ½

    cup walnuts, toasted

  • 1

    ounce Parmesan cheese, finely grated (½ cup)

  • ¼

    cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • ¼
Step 1 of 1

Combine Ingredients

4
ounces cooked red beets, cut into rough 1-inch chunks
1
teaspoon grated lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice
1
medium garlic clove, smashed and peeled
½
cup walnuts, toasted
1
ounce Parmesan cheese, finely grated (½ cup)
¼
cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
¼
cup extra-virgin olive oil

In a food processor, combine the beets, lemon zest and juice, garlic, walnuts, Parmesan, parsley and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Pulse until roughly chopped, 5 to 10 pulses, scraping the bowl as needed.


With the machine running, stream in the oil, then stop the machine.


Transfer the pesto to a small bowl, then taste and season with salt and pepper.

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Done!

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