Chef Cecily Gans was whirring up this bright, high protein pesto and sharing samples with hungry shoppers at the Westport Farmers’ Market last week. She touted the seasonal greens from CT. farms and the high protein value of hemp seeds.
I love this twist on traditional pesto and would never have guessed that pine nuts had been subbed out for nutritionally dense hemp seeds. Brilliant!
Spread this creamy taste of summer on thinly sliced fresh bread like Cecily did here, or toss with your favorite pasta for a simple dinner. I’m thinking of spreading a layer of this garlicky pesto over wild salmon fillets before throwing them onto the grill this weekend.
Cecily Gans is the Executive Chef-Owner, The Main Course Catering, LLC; Chef Instructor, Staples High School Culinary Arts Department, Westport, CT.
This recipe for high protein pesto was provided by Chef Cecile Gans, owner, The Main Course Catering, CT.
- 5 oz. baby kale, spinach and/or chard leaves, cleaned
- 5 oz. fresh basil leaves, cleaned and stemmed
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil and/or flax seed oil
- 1/2 cup parmigiano, grated
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/2 cup hemp seeds, toasted, if desired
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Tb. fresh lemon juice
- Add greens, basil and garlic to food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
- Add olive oil and pulse to blend.
- Add hemp seeds and lemon juice. Pulse to blend.
- Season to taste
- Use or may be frozen.
Changing the texture is as simple as pulsing until your desired texture is reached. Some garlic has more bite, start with three average-sized cloves. Greens and basil are often sold as 'clam shells' in oz. Use your best judgement with regards to weight, if buying in bunches or from the market. It is about equal in this recipe, but by volume greens are a little heavier, so will measure by eye to look like you are using more basil.