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Green Spark Pesto

This recipe was inspired after a weekly Saturday morning pilgrimage to Portland Farmers Market, followed by an always inspiring conversation with Austin, the farmer at Green Spark Farm


We were talking turnips…hakurei or salad turnips, to be precise. He got me thinking about turnip greens and how most of us do not realise we can eat them… how we throw away what is “Austin’s favourite salad green”….some serious food for thought right there, especially coming from this farmer who grows the best of the best!


Green Spark Pesto is a blend of hakurei turnip greens, peas, parsley and pumpkin seeds; it is oil-free because you do not need it… add a splash of vinegar or lemon juice + a sprinkle of salt or dulse, and you have a vibrant pesto with a whole lot of spark ~ thank you Austin, you rock!

  • Servesmakes 2-3 cups
  • Cooks in 0
  • Prep time 10 mins


adds to shopping list

  • 2 garlic cloves - peeled
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 bunch | 4 cups hakurei greens*
  • 1 cup peas - fresh | frozen
  • ¼ cup parsley - chop
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice*
  • 1 tsp sea salt | dulse
  • 10 grinds fresh black pepper



Green Spark Pesto


FROZEN PEAS – pour boiling water to cover a cup of frozen peas.  Rest while you prep. Drain before you use.


PROCESS | BLEND – garlic + pumpkin seeds, blitz 10 sec or until the mix resembles breadcrumbs.


ADD the remaining ingredients: process or blend to a semi-smooth texture.      


TASTE and adjust lemon juice | vinegar + salt to taste.


STORE in a glass container with a lid, in the fridge.


Serving Ideas
Mix with steamed potatoes, cauliflower – any veg you like.
Dip, sauce or spread
Pasta & Green Beans
Tomato, Burrata & Olive Board
Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad
Tomato, Mozzarella & Basil Salad.
atop soups & stews.

Chef Hat Icon Chef tips + Ingredient Swaps + Ideas

MINT is a lovely addition – stir in a 1 tbsp finely sliced or add it to the dish you are making rather than blending it as the mint flavour can over-power the green spark pesto.


SWAP HAKUREI Turnip greens –  or use a mix of – arugula | rocket, spinach, baby kale, mixed spring greens.


SWAP pumpkin seeds – sunflower seeds, pinenuts; cashews, toasted hazelnuts or walnuts.


SWAP PARSLEY – use a mix of chives, basil, chervil, scallions.  You can add sorrel or dandelion greens the pesto flavour will change.


SWAP LEMON Juice – use 1tbsp vinegar apple cider or white wine < taste – add more to your taste.


GARLIC – use cloves, scapes or garlic chives OR swap for scallions, chives


TEXTURE – Pesto is not a smooth puree unless you like it that way.


OIL-FREE if you want to add oil, use olive oil or a fresh, light neutral oil.  Tahini is a great addition, but it will change the flavour.


SPICE it up by adding a pinch of dried chilli flakes.

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