There’s a saying: “Everyone loves beets. Some people just don’t know it yet.”

If you have a garden you know exactly what I mean when I say summer dinners in NJ are the absolute best. And beets are the best of it. My favorite thing about summer dinners is that 70% of the food on the table grows fresh out of my own garden. On my table, beets can always be found in some incorporation, and my newest favorite is to make them into a pesto sauce.

Source Adobe Stock
Source Adobe Stock

I stumbled across this recipe years ago and have modified it over the years to put my own spin on it. The sauce can be used on Pizza, as a dip, or simply as a side and is absolutely delicious. If you want the perfect summer sauce, keep reading and you will find it!

To make this sauce you will need:
1 cup of any type of nut (I use pine nut)
1 lemon
Handful fresh basil leaves
3 fresh mint leaves
3 steamed beets (skin removed)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 garlic cloves
4 tablespoons water

In order to make the sauce, all you have to do is combine all of the ingredients and blend. I like to boil my own beets which takes a little over an hour, but if you don’t have that kind of time store-bought will do.

Source Adobe Stock
Source Adobe Stock

You can also opt-out of the nuts if you are nut free and the taste won’t change much at all and the same with the lemon, as a full lemon can oftentimes be too much for some. And of course, if you have leftover pesto it can be reused throughout the week for any dish you want!

I beg you, especially if you’ve ever said “I don’t like beets,” to try this. It’s gonna turn you around.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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This has to be the best farmers market in New Jersey

If you’re looking for a great farmers market, you have to visit the Summit Farmers Market. This year they have over 50 vendors, offering a large selection of great produce from various local farmers, lots of specialty foods and more. There is also plenty of free parking. My dog and I went for a visit last week and took pictures of what they have to offer.

Vendors Not Pictured:

  • Adventure Kitchen
  • Angel Planet Foods
  • Anita's Baked Wonders
  • Bull 'N Bear Brewery
  • Fit Fed Puppy
  • Foraged Feast
  • Hummus Boss
  • Jana's Jammy
  • Java's Compost
  • Kariba Farms
  • Louis Organics
  • Luxx Chocolat
  • Made with Clay
  • Mangalitsa
  • Our Woods Maple Syrup
  • Roaming Acres Farm
  • Spice Sisters
  • Stefan's Polish Foods
  • Sustainable Haus
  • Valley Shepherd Creamery
  • WoodsEdge Farm

The Summit Farmers Market will be open every Sunday, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will last until November 20th. The market is located at Park & Shop Lot #1 on the corner of DeForest Avenue and Woodland Avenue.

Below are photos of some of the local vendors joining the farmers market this season:

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