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
- Place cheese and garlic cloves into the blender. Pulse for 30 seconds.
- Add remaining ingredients (except for spinach), fresh basil leaves last.
- Use 8-10 pulses until the pesto is at desired consistency.
- Add the spinach. Pulse for 30 seconds.
- Add a few quick pours of EVOO. Pulse twice more.
- 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!