I love fresh basil, which is what traditional pesto sauce is made from. It’s bright, fragrant, and delicious. But, it’s so totally out of season in the winter and it’s hard for me to rationalize shelling out $20 on it at the grocery store for basil when there are bags of spinach sitting there on sale for 2 for $5. So yes, we’re back to spinach again.
Besides, have you heard that spinach is a superfood?!?!?!?!?! Of, course, as a loyal reader you also know that I love spinach and cook with it every chance I get: one soup, another soup, quiche (psst- sandwiches are coming too!).
This recipe makes a large batch but it can be used for so many different things I think it’s worth it to have it around. It makes the quickest dinner imaginable. Last night it was in the fridge and about 10 minutes before Adam got home I put a pot of water on to boil. Once the pasta was cooked and drained I pulled the pesto out of the fridge, mixed some into the still warm pot and poof, dinner was served. For serving you might want to drizzle on a little bit of extra virgin olive oil and shave some fresh Parmesan on top (if you haven’t salted the pasta water) . But really, it’s just about perfect the way it is. There are multiple serving suggestions below.
2 bags pre-washed spinach (9 oz. each)
2-3 medium-small gloves garlic (depending on you taste preference. I like it garlicy so I use 3)
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup shelled walnuts
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1.5 tsps freshly squeezed lemon juice
Put the spinach in the work bowl of your food processor and blend it until it looks like a paste.
Add each ingredient one at a time and process for a few seconds after each addition.
Put the sauce in a jar and store for later use:
- On pasta
- In risotto
- On top of garlic toast as an appetizer
- As a sauce layer in a lasagna