Peter Barrett’s Chicory Pesto (a.k.a. Green Mash) Recipe | PBS Food

Peter Barrett’s Chicory Pesto (a.k.a. Green Mash)

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  • 1 head (about 1 lb.) of Pan di Zucchero or other chicory (escarole, frisée, dandelion, radicchio, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted in a pan
  • 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon mustard (optional)
  • Good extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt


  1. Chop the chicory into thin strips, then chop it transversely to break it down further. If using a food processor, add everything but the oil to the bowl and pulse a few times to mix it all together, then add oil while running it until you achieve the desired consistency. Taste for seasoning, adjust if necessary, and serve.
  2. If using a suribachi or mortar and pestle, start by mashing the garlic and pine nuts with a little salt. Add a little vinegar to help loosen the paste from the bottom of the bowl, then begin adding handfuls of greens and a little oil and pound them into the paste. Keep adding greens, along with oil, letting each addition get incorporated and broken down before adding more. When the greens are all incorporated—it’ll be a mix of fine and larger pieces—add the rest of the vinegar, the salt, the mustard if using, stir well, taste for seasoning, adjust if needed, and serve.
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