I’m just going to be straight up here: I have the blackest thumb in the history of thumbdom. You name a houseplant, I’ve killed it. I mean, not through lack of trying. It’s not like I ignore the things for three weeks and then wonder why they’re dead. It’s just… I’m totally lacking whatever part of a person is required to mystically divine the needs of the botanical.
Pets and people, I can manage. Plants? Not so much. The last time I was in charge of some succulents, arguably the easiest thing to take care of since the air plant, they got eaten by a cow. Who then spat them out in disgust, obviously.
So it will come as no great surprise for you to hear that the person in charge of actual gardening around here is Mr M. Because he can actually keep things alive. Usually this is an awesome thing, since I can avail myself of all the fresh herbs he keeps for me on our deck whenever I want them. However, every now and then, he’ll go on a veritable horticultural binge, since some things just go nuts with all the sun we get here in the summer. Case in point, basil. It’s hard to keep up with that stuff!
So the other day, Mr M unceremoniously dumped a miscellany of green things freshly plucked from the garden on my kitchen island. A good couple of bunches of green onions, along with handfuls of basil and chives. So I did the only sensible thing a girl wishing to avoid a hundred degree kitchen would do: I threw ’em all into the food processor to whip up a quick pesto.
I have to confess that I didn’t particularly think that plan through. If I had, I might have wondered what would happen if I made a pesto that was more green onion than basil, perhaps assuming that an allium fest might be kind of weird.
But it turns out that Green Onion Pesto is pretty neat: it’s lively and fresh, but not as sweet as pure basil versions. It’s got more of a zing, but isn’t overpowering as you might think, especially when balanced by fresh lemon and a little nutritional yeast for a savory backbone.
Although I’ve given you a recipe for Green Onion Pesto below, I totally advise you to wing it a little. Don’t worry about exact amounts as much as adjusting the flavors to your taste. Add a little more nutritional yeast for a mellower, more savory flavor, extra lemon for a bit more of a citrus bite or a smidge extra salt if you think it needs it. It’s easy to customize or adapt to use up what you have in your kitchen.
You could try making versions with cilantro, parsley, mint or a mixture if you don’t have the basil. Throw in a garlic clove instead of the chives, or swap the lemon for some lime if you’re going basil-free. Make this Green Onion Pesto your own!
This makes a pretty large batch (2 1/2 cups or 600 ml), since I was blitzing the heck out of everything I needed to use up, but it keeps really well in the fridge since the avocado oil keeps the greens from oxidizing. You can easily freeze it in cubes or 1/2 cup servings if you like, as long as it’s kept in an airtight container.
If you’re looking for serving suggestions, there are about a million things you can do with this delicious stuff. Throw the Green Onion Pesto into soups or sauces, blend it with avocado for a quick dip, use it as a butter replacement for baked sweet potatoes, stir it through veggie noodles, toss with roasted or grilled asparagus (or any veg, really). It’s especially lovely with crispy skinned chicken or salmon and if you’re feeling super fancy, it would make a great, fresh contrast to a steak fresh from the grill.
You will notice that if you leave it in the fridge for a while, a little water will collect on the top, since green onions have a higher water content than salad leaves or herbs, but that’s ok. Just give it a quick stir before using and you’ll be on your way!
Green Onion Pesto
- Yield: 2 1/2 cups / 600 ml
- PROCESS: Add the green onions, basil and chives to the bowl of a food processor and process until finely chopped and reduced in volume. Scrape down the sides and add the avocado oil, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and sea salt: process until you have a smooth, totally combined pesto. Taste and add additional nutritional yeast, lemon or salt, if needed.
- STORE: Transfer the pesto to mason jars and store, tightly covered in the fridge for a week or so. Green Onion Pesto will also freeze and thaw well as long as its kept in an airtight container.
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