Spinach & Basil Pesto

Pesto. Yum! 

This is a go-to recipe in our house because of it’s flexibility. I know, I know, I’m signing a familiar tune. No pignoli? I’ll use walnuts or almonds. No parmesan? I’ll subsitute with asiago or grana padano or romano. The latitude and flexibility is also extended to the basil component.

Sometimes I make it with all basil, but when I know that the kids will be eating most of it, I slightly tone down the strong taste of basil by replacing about half with baby spinach. If that’s all it takes to get my kids to eat this deliciousness, I’m willing to make the change!! The pesto still has a wonderful and robust flavor, but it’s a bit more gentle on the palate than the all-basil version.

Aside from the amazing way pesto tastes with pasta, you can also spread it on a sandwich instead of mayo or toss with chicken cubes for an amazing chicken salad. If you’re feeling really daring, use it as a dip with your favorite veggies or pita chips!
Note: The result of this recipe is intended to be a little “thick”. When we toss it with pasta, I add a bit of the water that the pasta was cooked in.  When we use it on sandwiches, I don’t dilute it.
1 1/3 cup packed spinach. Ok, so maybe a bit more…
1 cup packed basil
1/3 cup toasted pignolis
2/3 cup grated parmesan
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
All ingredients into ONE pot!!!
Pulse until pulverized
Stream in olive oil
I’m in LOVE with this shot 🙂
Presto, Pesto!!

Spinach & Basil Pesto


1 cup basil, packed
1 1/3 cup baby spinach, packed
4 garlic cloves, peeled (less, if you’re not a fan of garlic)
1/3 cup toasted pignolis (pine nuts)
2/3 cup grated parmesan
3/4 cup good virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Combine spinach, basil, garlic, pignolis, parmesan  in a food processor. Pulse until pulverized.

With the food processor on, in a slow stream, pour in olive oil and allow to emulsify.
Turn off food processor and taste. Add salt and pepper as needed.

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