Recipe: Spring Onion Pesto

by Dakota Williams of Bowood by Niche

Jan 24, 2023 at 8:01 pm
click to enlarge Spring onion can make a delicious pesto.
Spring onion can make a delicious pesto.

This recipe is one of my favorites as the seasons change into spring. But I always make an abundance of this and omit the lemon at the end to save for the winter. It stores really well frozen or canned. This is great to add to pasta, roasted vegetables, scrambled eggs or dips for any occasion. Really, it works for anything where you’d like a fresh and flavorful sauce to add to your meal.

This recipe means a lot to me because it was inspired by an unforgettable day with my team. Bowood’s chef de cuisine, Peter Mickelson, took our sous chef, Peter Evangelou, and I to north city to forage for morels, ramps and spring onions. After our baskets were full, we eagerly headed back to the restaurant to craft the recipes we had spent the day dreaming of. When you spend your day surrounded by Missouri’s natural beauty, it’s impossible not to absorb and reflect its tranquility in your mood. My goal with this recipe is to give everybody a little taste of that tranquility in these hectic times.

200 g spring onion tops
100 g spinach
100 g spring onion bulbs
15 g garlic cloves
400 g olive oil
60 g pecans, toasted and chopped
25 g pecorino, freshly grated
20 g lemon juice
Salt to taste

Bring four quarts of water to a boil and heavily salt, like the sea. Have an ice bath ready. Working in batches, blanch the onion tops and spinach for 30 seconds at a time. Then transfer them into the ice bath to stop the cooking process. Once cold, remove from the ice bath and let drain on a clean towel.

While you’re waiting for the water to boil, slice your onion bulbs and garlic. In a sauté pan with a little bit of the olive oil over low heat sweat out the onions and garlic until translucent and tender. Remove from the heat and let cool. In the same pan lightly toast your pecans until aromatic and slightly toasted, five to seven minutes. Remove and let cool.

In a blender, add your pecans, onion, garlic and cheese. Place your blanched greens into the blender. Blend on medium speed until consistent. Then turn to high and slowly pour in your oil to emulsify. Taste and add salt and lemon to your preferred taste.

Serve immediately.

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