Wheatgrass and Basil Pesto

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I did something absolutely crazy last weekend – I cooked with wheatgrass pulp. Although many would not even place cooking and wheatgrass pulp in the same hemisphere, I decided to fuse these two during one of my weekend cooking whims.

A Basil and Wheatgrass Pesto Sauce

Every weekend, I like to prepare sauces for the week – tomato sauce, pesto sauce and a fruity puree to add to smoothies and yogurt, so preparing my meals are a cinch. This weekend after a pretty heavy wheatgrass week, as part of a self-imposed after-wedding detox, I decided to add all the pulp I had amassed into my weekly pesto recipe.

My thought process being that pesto is already green, so even the most discerning of eaters (you know who you are) wouldn’t be able to notice the difference.

Ingredients

I followed the traditional pesto recipe, using basil, pine nuts, garlic, parmesan cheese and lemon juice. But to flip the switch, I swapped a ¼ of the amount of basil in favor of wheatgrass pulp.

I combined everything in a food processor and buzzed it until it was completely smooth. After the first taste, I was floored! You absolutely cannot make out the wheatgrass flavor, and that was a big part of the goal!

Impressing the ultimate food critic

But in the past, I had to learn the hard way that in this house, I must wait for Mr. Picky to try something before I can consider it a success. I decided to test my new concoction with pasta, as pesto pasta is one of our go-to light summer meals.

As we sat down to eat, I help my breath waiting for him to recognize the wheatgrass flavor and immediately reject the dish. Instead, he inhaled the whole thing, only coming up for air to mention that this was one of the best pestos I had ever made.

It was time for an in-your-face celebration. I jumped up with fist raised high, and in my best school yard pep began to sing my over-indulgent victory chant, “You just ate wheatgrass! You just ate wheatgrass!”

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Wheatgrass and Basil Pesto

  • 3 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • ½ cup wheatgrass pulp
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2/3 cup pine nuts
  • 5 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine the basil and wheatgrass in with the pine nuts and pulse a few times in a food processor. Add the garlic, pulse a few times more. Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on.

Stop periodically to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

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