I wanted to try something a little different tonight. I had a big bunch of spinach in the fridge that I needed to use before leaving town for the weekend. Combing through the kitchen I realized I had pretty much everything for pesto, except my basil leaves were looking pretty sad. So bam spinach pesto. I scavenged the last few leaves of my basil and added that too but I’m fairly sure the results would have been equally good without. I also combined the last of my pine nuts, almonds and cashews to pull together a ½ cup of nuts. But suddenly I was able to turn several ingredients that would otherwise go to waste or stale into quick, easy, delicious pesto.
So I’m sacrificing the involved photo process I love to obsess over because I really wanted to share this recipe but I’m also starving, and still need to pack tonight.
One bunch (about 2 cups) fresh baby spinach
1 cup fresh basil leaves (
½ cup pine nuts or other nuts. I used a combination of pine nuts, almonds and cashews to use up some remnants
2-3 cloves garlic
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp lemon juice
3-4 Tbsp olive oil
½ cup parmesan cheese
Combine all ingredients in a food processor. I have a tiny food processor so it was especially helpful to start with the nuts and garlic. When those are a course grind start to pile in the leaves, you may have to do this in batches, along with the lemon and zest. Drizzle in the olive oil while the processor is running and add the parmesan right at the end, along with pretty liberal amounts of salt and pepper and pulse just to fully combine.
The flavors will meld and change (the garlic will become stronger, as will the salt, depending what type you use) over the next few days. Adjust salt, pepper, or even oil if you choose to later.
Keep sealed in the fridge and put on pretty much anything.