Basil and spinach pesto
Magnificent spinach and basil pesto recipe
There is not much in this world that is better than pesto. With its densely concentrated flavor, pesto perks up the simplest foods, from pasta to potatoes, to bread, to soup, to eggs, to chicken or fish. You can't go wrong by adding a dollop of pesto. Pesto is a great way to boost the nutrition of a meal, by adding concentrated greens, raw garlic and olive oil. There's is hardly a tastier way to be healthy.
Once you have made a basic pesto, you can have fun with variations. In place of basil, try combinations of:
- Roast peppers
In place of pine nuts try:
- Macadamia nuts
Instead of parmesan cheese, experiment with:
- Pecorino romano
A word about measurements
Don't sweat the measurements. It is ridiculous to try and measure out herbs in any meaningful way. Grab a big handful of basil and a big handful of spinach and toss them in your food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients. If the pesto is too thick add a little more olive oil. Taste it. Not quite right? Adjust the seasoning. Pesto is art, not science.
Make a big batch of pesto and freeze
In the summer when basil is fragrant and plentiful I like to make a big batch of pesto and freeze individual portions. My mom used to bring me enormous basil trees from her garden and I would make boat loads of pesto. My kids would come home, pull a little bag of pesto from the freezer and toss it with pasta for a quick after school snack. Pesto is a good thing. You just can't have too much pesto.
Basil and spinach pesto
Yield 1 .5 cups
There is not much in this world that is better than pesto. With its densely concentrated flavor, pesto perks up the simplest foods, from pasta to potatoes, to bread, to soup, to eggs, to chicken or fish. You can't go wrong by adding a dollop of pesto.
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 1 big handful of stemmed basil leaves, about 2 ounces
- 1 big handful of stemmed spinach leaves, about 2 ounces
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Zest from 1 lemon
- 1 T lemon juice
- 5 T olive oil
- 1 pinch of red pepper flakes
- 3/4 t salt
- Pepper to taste
- Whirl the garlic in a food processor until finely minced. Add the remaining ingredients and whirl until well combined. Taste and adjust seasonings. That's all. Just one step!
THIS SERVES WELL WITH