This post contains affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy.

Vegan Beet Green Pesto Pilaf

Summer is the most exciting time of year to shop at the farmer’s market, at least in NYC. From late-Spring until mid-fall, the stands are decorated with the colors of the rainbow! I’ve been shopping at the Union Square Green Market (the largest in NYC) for years, and I still manage to find something I’ve never before seen, nearly each time I visit. This weekend my friend Isabelle and I discovered spigarelli broccoli, and boy what a treat that was. I prepared it just like the lady in this week’s video suggested, and it was delicious!

Jenné & Isabelle at the Market

Isabelle and I are both crazy about the farmer’s market, so we decided to film our little Saturday adventure. We love to fill our bags with the best the season has to offer; fresh greens, stone fruits, melons, cucumbers, squashes, and even fresh flowers! The market is also a wonderful place to find delicious locally prepared goods like vegan tea cakes, fresh baked bread, wine, and homemade jams. The Union Square Green Market is like a little slice of heaven in this crazy city. When I’m there all of my worries melt away.

Beet Green Almond Pesto Pilaf

Inspired by the gorgeous bunch of beets we picked up, I made a simple and absolutely delicious beet pilaf with beet green almond pesto and quinoa. With ingredients as fresh as the ones you’ll find at the market, there’s no need to get too fancy. Keep it simple, and you’ll be able to taste summer within every bite. If you can get your hands on some Chioggia beets (that’s the pink and white swirly beet pictured), slice them thinly and eat them raw with the pesto. When cooked they lose their vibrant color pattern.

And yes, this is my second pesto recipe in a week. Click here to see all of the different pestos I’ve made on Sweet Potato Soul 🙂

Buon appetito!

Beet Green Pesto Pilaf {VIDEO}

No ratings yet

Beet Green + Almond Pesto Pilaf

By: Jenné
My Nana always says that the smaller beets are the tastiest and sweetest. I think she’s right. They also cook more quickly when you steam them. At the farmer’s market you’ll be able to find beets with beautiful and crisp greens still attached. If you happen to be making this recipe without access to fresh beet tops, substitute spinach or kale.
Servings: 4


  • 4 small fresh beets, steamed
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 ½ cup water
  • 1 bunch of beet greens, about 3-4 cups, stems removed
  • ¾ cup toasted almonds
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • juice of one lime
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp red chili flakes
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, or water if you’re oil-free


  • Steam beets for 20-30 minutes in a pot with a steam basket inserted.
  • Meanwhile, cook the quinoa.
  • Toast 1 cup quinoa in a pot for about 30 seconds, until it starts to pop. Shake it a couple of times to evenly toast the grains.
  • Add water, and bring to a gentle boil.
  • Cook for 10 minutes with the lid ajar, then remove from heat, and cover completely. Allow the quinoa to sit for another 5-10 minutes to steam and finish cooking.
  • When the beets have finished steaming, place them in a colander, and under running cold water, gently slip away the skins.
  • Quarter the beets, then toss them with the cooked quinoa and pesto.


  • Place the beet greens, almonds, garlic, lime juice, salt, pepper, and chili in a food processor, and blend.
  • Slowly pour in the olive oil. Blend until combined, or your desired texture is reached. I like mine to be pretty grainy, but not too chunky.
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!


About Jenne

I’m a Georgia Peach living in Los Angeles (by way of NYC), with an insatiable love of sweet potatoes, travel, animals, and cooking. On Sweet Potato Soul you’ll discover hundreds of delicious and easy-to-make vegan recipes.

You May Also Like

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

1 Comment