I love pesto. I haven’t found any store bought pesto that I really enjoy, but homemade pesto…. I have no words. It. Is. Amazing. But sadly, basil plants don’t like me very much. I haven’t had much success growing enough basil to make pesto, but this year I’m determined. I’ve been out weeding and babying my basil plants in the heat of the day with the baby in a sling on my chest. Trust me, you don’t know how uncomfortable that is until you try it. It’s so uncomfortable that I’m not going to do it again, hah. But still, my basil is pretty much completely covered in weeds and I’m afraid I wont get much again this year.
I do however have lots of spinach. In fact, I usually have lots of spinach so I’ve started making pesto out of it before it goes bad. I’ve seen spinach pesto recipes before but never tried it, so when I finally did, I was so impressed! I did add what little basil I had though. So it has a hint of that amazing basil flavor that I love so much, without cups and cups of basil. My son absolutely loved this pesto just on pasta. He doesn’t mind spinach but it’s nice to add another way to get it into his diet
As you can see I usually just mix a decent amount in with pasta and some fresh tomatoes, but I have some other things I want to try with it too. Grilled cheese sandwich with spinach pesto and mozzarella cheese anyone? My mother-in-law made a kind of bruschetta last year with flatbread and a layer of pesto and a balsamic reduction over the garlicy tomato mixture that I still think about, so that’s on the list too. What other ways do you like to enjoy pesto? I think I have enough spinach in my garden for another batch of this, so I need ideas!
makes 1 pint sized jar, almost 2 cups
- 4-5 C spinach
- 1/2 C packed basil leaves
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- 1/2 C Parmigiano Reggiano
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 C walnuts
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1/3 C good quality extra virgin olive oil
In a food processor, add the spinach, basil, garlic, cheese, salt, walnuts and lemon juice. Turn on the food processor and slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the pesto comes together into a fairly smooth sauce. Be sure to stop processing while the pesto still has a little bit of texture to it. Remove from the food processor and store in an airtight container in the fridge. To store even longer, freeze small or individual portions until ready to use.
Notes: To make this nut free, try sunflower seeds. They have a different flavor, but taste good too!