Winter Pesto

Source: Foodwise Kids Program

Recipe Type: | Seasons: , , ,

This is a kid-friendly recipe that the whole family can prepare together! Created for CUESA’s Foodwise Kids program, it’s particularly well-suited for kids ages 6 to 12.

Pesto is a versatile sauce. It is perfect on pasta and pizza or for dipping vegetables and other snacks. This pesto uses hearty winter greens like kale and chard, as well as carrot tops, in addition to herbs. Carrots at our farmers market often come with tops attached, and we cook with them instead of throwing them away. However, if you don’t have carrot tops, the recipe will still turn out great.

Younger chefs can tear greens with their hands, while more experienced chefs can practice their knife skills. All ages will enjoy using a blender to watch the ingredients transform!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2 to 4


1 bunch winter greens (examples: kale, chard)
1 bunch carrot tops, leafy parts only (optional)
1 bunch parsley
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup raw nuts (example: almonds)
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey or your preferred sweetener
¾ cup mild oil (example: olive oil, grapeseed)
Salt and pepper to taste


Food processor or blender
Cutting board
Measuring cups and spoons


1.    Wash your hands with soap and water. Thoroughly rinse all fruits and vegetables.

2.    Rip out the stems from the winter greens, keeping the leafy, soft parts. Rip the soft parts into small, bite-sized pieces. If using carrot tops, rip the leaves off the stems. Use only the leaves. Do the same for the parsley: rip the leaves from the stems.

3.    Add the winter greens, carrot tops, parsley, cheese, nuts, garlic, lemon juice, and honey to the food processor and pulse for five one-second intervals. Scrape down sides with a spatula and repeat pulses.

4.    Turn on the food processor and begin to slowly pour the oil into the mixture. Allow to blend until smooth.

5.    Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve. Leftovers will keep in the fridge in a sealed container for a few days. The pesto may turn brown on the top from oxidation (being exposed to air), but that’s normal.

Farmers Market Ingredients