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Swiss Chard - Cilantro Pesto

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I love greens so much.  We have kale, red and regular swiss chards, cilantro, mixed greens, spinach, romaine lettuce, parsley.  I was in the mood to make pesto with regular swiss chard today.  I remembered Kevin, from Closet Cooking blog.  As usual, I have to add my own little flair or I don't have all the ingredients.  You can get Kevin's Swiss Chard Pesto recipe here.

After learning how easy a pesto is to make, I can never buy pesto again.  Your options really are limitless on the many different combinations you can use.  It's basically a green (you can also do other veggies that are not green, too), garlic, olive oil (or maybe another oil), sea salt, ground pepper and a nut.  You can add all different spices, if you want, but I like to keep mine more basic.

Pesto is expensive to buy in the store and you won't get these wonderful flavors that you can make at home for pennies.  Today I will be using this as a base for my cauliflower crusted pizza that I'm taking to life group.

The expensive of this is pretty inexpensive, but I bet AJ's would charge you probably $15-20 for 1/2 of the quantity I made.  Chard was $1.89.  Cilantro was $0.33.  Garlic was negligible, but we'll say $0.05.  Lemon came off my sister's tree, but we'll say it would cost you $0.50.  Olive Oil is less than $1.  Sea salt & pepper are negligible, but we'll say $0.02.  Pepitas were probably $3.99/lb and I used probably 1/3 lb, so we'll say $1.33.  It was $4.12 for the ingredients plus tax.  So, it's around $4.  It's well worth making this and it's so easy & inexpensive.  You can even get regular pesto at Costco for this inexpensive!  And, no preservatives or anything.  Woohoo!

Servings:  2 cups
Prep Time:  15 min.
Cook Time:  None


  • 1 bunch of Swiss Chard, loosely chopped
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, loosely chopped
  • 3-6 cloves garlic
  • 1 lemon, the juice
  • 1/2 cup pepitas
  • about 3/4 cup olive oil
  • sea salt
  • ground pepper
Swiss Chard
a bunch of Cilantro - I use most of the stems
Pepitas, extra virgin olive oil, minced garlic, lemon, sea salt & pepper
Huge bowl of chopped Swiss Chard & Cilantro
1st Batch in Processor

1st Batch all processed - YUM

2nd Batch in Processor - Looking Bad
  • Throw everything in a food processor and process until it looks like pesto.  I had to do mine in 2 separate bunches, but since the greens were pretty bulky, I had to put it into the processor a little bit at a time.
  • Some things I did to make processing it easier was to put the greens in first, including the stalk.  The stalk would be close to the blade.  I process this some then add the nuts and garlic.  Once this got going some, I added the lemon juice and oil while the processor was running.  This made it much easier to process.

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