Spinach Basil And Pine Nut Pesto – Spinach is absolutely one of my favorite leafy greens. I can’t find enough uses for it in my dishes. My family, is like most families, we enjoy a variety of foods and cuisines from all over the world, along with our Southern comfort foods. This would qualify as one of those moments when my Southern Kitchen goes global.
I often grab pasta and pesto when I’m in a hurry, and I need to get a meal on the table. There are several very good store brands that I use. However, this week, after a trip to my local warehouse store, I came home with a huge container of spinach. I decided that we were having homemade pesto! I love this as a quick no-cook sauce for pasta. In fact, after a long and tedious day of tagging clothes, toys, books and shoes for a consignment sale, I needed something super easy for dinner. I decided to fix a pot of fettuccine and toss it with this fresh pesto for a quick and healthy meatless dinner.
Spinach Basil And Pine Nut Pesto
Servings 1 1.2-2 cups
- 1/2 cup pine nuts toasted
- 3 firmly packed cups baby spinach leaves
- 1/2 packed cup fresh basil
- 1 cup shredded parmesan-romano cheese
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 small minced shallot or 2 Tbsp red onion
- 1 tsp. sea/kosher salt
- 4-6 cloves garlic peeled
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes [optional]
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the pine nuts onto a baking sheet. Toast in the oven for 6-7 minutes until golden, then set aside to cool.
- In a large food processor, place the spinach, basil, shredded cheese, toasted pine nuts, lemon juice, lemon zest, minced shallot, 1 teaspoon sea salt, garlic cloves, pepper and red pepper flakes.
- Pulse a few times, and the mixture will begin to process.
- Drizzle the olive oil in through the tube at the top. Stop and scrape the side of the bowl at least once so, that everything blends together.
- Use immediately tossed over warm pasta, as a spread for toasted garlic bread or as a dip.
- Chill tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
You can substitute toasted walnuts in place of the pine nuts if desired.