Swiss Chard Pesto

The hardest part about a CSA (community supported agriculture) is not knowing which vegetables you are going to get. To me this is the most exciting part. It brings out my creative side. When I’m not sure what to make I look through my cookbooks and browse Pinterest. This time around Pinterest was very helpful.

Swiss chard isn’t my favorite leafy green (spinach wins that one, duh). It’s a bit “earthy” as my coworker described it. Usually I put it in a frittata or use it for tuna wraps (it’s sturdier than other greens). But this time around I was feeling a bit more adventurous so pesto it was. 

Unfortunately I don’t have my cooking appliances with me at my current sublet. Therefore, I don’t have my mini food processor. So I had to research how to make pesto without a food processor. It required a few more appliances but it was beyond worth it.

First, I chose my nuts (cashews and almonds) and added those with some water to my Instant Pot. I was worried to use an immersion blender on raw nuts so I decided to soften them first which was very helpful. I pressure cooked them for about 3 minutes and let the steam release naturally.

While this was happening I washed my Swiss chard. Once again I was missing an appliance, my salad spinner. This was dumb to not bring with me. I blended the nuts and chard together with olive oil. At the end I added some feta for some salt and extra flavor. 


I then added water water to my instant pot (after cleaning it) and put it on sauté. While I waited for the water to boil I sautéed some green garlic with olive oil. Then I added Swiss chard and broccoli. I was reminded how much leafy greens shrink down during cooking! This is what I educate about when people are taking Coumadin/Warfarin. A little amount of cooked leafy greens is actually a lot more than you think it is! 


I cooked some Banza pasta per the package directions and mixed it with my pesto. Dinner including sautéed vegetables, pesto pasta, a wild mushroom turkey sausage and extra cheese. It was amazing.


My leftovers were even even more amazing. I put a base of raw spinach, heated up some pesto pasta with peas, and topped with a sautéed veggie burger and feta cheese. I gobbled this down so fast. These veggie burgers are UNREAL. The first ingredient is millet which gives the burger a breaded flavor. It’s perfect with pasta dishes. 


Swiss Chard Pesto

  • 1 cup nuts (½ cup cashews + ½ cup almonds)
  • Tons of Swiss chard (10-12 leaves) 
  • ¼-½ cup olive oil
  • Feta or other cheese


  1. Soften nuts (3 minutes in Instant Pot with enough water to cover the bottom). Can skip this step if you have a food processor.  
  2. Blend above ingredients. Pulsing will give a delicious gritty texture.