Friday, August 12, 2011

the besto: basil & spinach pesto

I absolutely love pesto. It is just so summery, versatile, delicious, and rich. I love it so much that I'm still thrilled about coming up with a recent recipe of my own.
You see, my friend's basil plant was in desperate need of pruning, and being the way that I am, I saw no better opportunity to use the fresh basil. I ran to the store for walnuts, while he took out parmesan cheese and a garden-fresh tomato. We had a loose recipe in mind courtesy of his new Ninja. I uncorked and poured chilled glasses of this amazing Sauvignon Blanc. He got to work on the recipe. 
Everything was turning out perfectly... until I tasted it. I have yet to determine why a single garlic clove would ever equate an entire head of garlic. Ahem. Luckily, I had an idea: spinach. We added handful upon handful to our garlicky paste, plus a bit more olive oil, and saved the poor pesto from a pitiful demise.

Basil & Spinach Pesto
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, cut into cubes
  • 5 to 6 peeled garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup EVOO, plus more to taste
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 1 cup basil leaves, freshly packed
  • 3 cups fresh spinach
  • sea salt, to taste
  • fresh ground pepper, to taste
  1. Place cheese and garlic cloves into the blender. Pulse for 30 seconds.
  2. Add remaining ingredients (except for spinach), fresh basil leaves last.
  3. Use 8-10 pulses until the pesto is at desired consistency.
  4. Add the spinach. Pulse for 30 seconds. 
  5. Add a few quick pours of EVOO. Pulse twice more.
  6. Salt and pepper to taste.

This pesto was absolutely divine served immediately on tomatoes with shaved parmesan, al fresco, alongside glasses of wine and crusty French bread.
A few days later, we used more of it in a spelt angel hair dish with 2 zucchinis, 6 mushrooms, and 2 cups of Great Northern beans. 'Twas another incredible meal. It's almost sad that the remaining pesto is frozen... but, then again, I do have things look forward to: more wintery pasta dishes, as well as a tablespoon of flavor in cold weather soups. Please let me know if you get a chance to enjoy it too. Happy Friday!


  1. mmmm pesto! sad I didn't get to see you this week but looking forward to our next reunion! : ) Hope you're feeling better.
    xo Katie

  2. drooling like mad, looks amazing!!!

  3. Katie: Thanks, dear. See you soon!

    melissa: Oh, and it was!


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