Want pesto? No basil? No pine nuts? No problem!
While pesto is traditionally a sauce of crushed basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil, who says we can’t get a little creative? And by that, I mean I had a bunch of spinach in my fridge and was not in the mood for salad.
I don’t know about you but pesto always reminds me of summer. The vibrant green colour and the equally-matched explosion of flavor just screams bbq’s and picnics. And there is no end to what it can be paired with! While you might think it’s best suited as a sauce for pasta, why not as a dip with pita crisps or flatbread? Or, try swapping tomato sauce for pesto on your pizza! And a little spread of pesto on your sandwich packs a 1-2 flavor punch!
That brings us to the most unconventional twist in this post – spinach and walnut. Who is this “Teta Lizza” and what is she doing to pesto!?!
I promise, I have nothing against the classic basil and pine nut combo but I just don’t always have those ingredients handy. Fresh spinach has a very similar texture to basil leaves and walnuts are soft, like pine nuts – not to mention a tad kinder to the wallet.
Just a few simple ingredients and you have a pesto that will give any dish or day a boost. And if you’ve found a way to get rid of the monster-size package of spinach you bought with best of intentions…BONUS!
- 4 cups organic baby spinach
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- pinch of sea salt
- Place all ingredients together in a food processor and blend for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Sample the mix and add any flavor you think it needs. Example - If you find the mix a little dry, add a bit more olive oil.