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Green Garlic Pesto

User Rating 4 Star Rating (2 Reviews)


Green Garlic Pesto

Green Garlic Pesto

Photo © Molly Watson

The young shoots of garlic, commonly called green garlic, is easy to turn into a flavorful spring "pesto" sauce. Use it on pasta, as pictured, or as a spread on sandwiches or a luscious sauce for chicken or fish. If you have a lot of green garlic on hand, know that this pesto keeps very well, covered and chilled up to 3 days or frozen up to 2 months.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 1/2 pound green garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts or pistachios
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly shredded Pecorino cheese or other hard, flavorful grating cheese


  1. Trim and discard the root ends of green garlic. Finely chop the green garlic, rinse it thoroughly under cool running water in a colander and pat or spin it dry (I find chopping and then cleaning gets all the dirt out of the picture).
  2. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, cook the vegetable oil, green garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt until the green garlic is soft, about 3 minutes. Let it cool to warm room temperature.
  3. In a blender or food processor, pulse the pine nuts or pistachios to chop. Set them aside in a bowl. Put the cooked green garlic in and process it, scraping down the sides as necessary, until it is bright green and smooth. With motor running, drizzle in the olive oil. Pulse in the reserved nuts and cheese. Taste the mixture and add more salt if you like.

Makes enough Green Garlic Pesto to coat 1 pound linguine.

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 3 out of 5
Some ideas for making it even better, Member Cadred1

Substitute a good olive oil for the veg oil to gain the benefits it gives to your heart and health. Veggie oil won't do that and it's bland to boot. Throw in a sprig or two of parsley, some fresh thyme leaves, and a spinach leaf or two to give it additional flavour. What the heck, you could probably throw in some basil leaves if you wanted.

5 out of 5 people found this helpful.

See all 2 reviews

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How to Make Pesto

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