Whitney Miller’s Turnip Green Pesto Recipe

In the South, turnip greens are typically cooked down with some kind of pork. My turnip green pesto takes turnip greens to new heights. For a quick appetizer or snack that only takes minutes to prepare, try serving this pesto with toasted cornbread slices, or multi-grain pita chips. I also like to use the fresh, bright-tasting pesto as a replacement for condiments like mayonnaise, a base for pizza and a salad dressing in pasta salads such as my turnip greens pesto pasta salad.

Simply boil 3 cups of bowtie pasta until al dente. Drain and mix with one batch of the turnip green pesto, 1 cup grape tomatoes (sliced), and 1 tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese. Chill and serve.

One cup of turnip greens contain 197 milligrams of calcium which is one-fifth of adults recommended daily intake. Amp up your work out performance through muscular strength and endurance with turnip greens’ potassium content of 292 milligrams.

  • 11 turnip green leaves, ribs removed
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 Tablespoons finely shredded Parmesan cheese

Fill a large pot halfway with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Place the turnip greens two at a time in the boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove the leaves and drain on paper towels and pat dry. Stack the leaves on top of one another. Roll into a cigar and cut crosswise into 1-inch-wide strips.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the walnuts on a baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes.

Place the turnip green strips in a food processor. Add the toasted walnuts, garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Process until it begins to form a paste, about 2 minutes. With the processor running, drizzle in oil and butter. Add the parmesan cheese and pulse two or three times. Season to taste with more salt and pepper. Transfer the pesto to a small bowl.

Makes 1 cup

Whitney MillerWhen she was just 22, Whitney Miller won the first U.S. season of the Fox show MasterChef. She is the author of Modern Hospitality: Simple Recipes with Southern Charm. While working on her second cookbook, she frequently travels around the U.S. and as far away as China to conduct cooking demonstrations and culinary classes. For more, visit whitneymiller.net, connect with Whitney MillerH on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @whitneymillerH.