Basil Spinach Pesto

Basil Spinach Pesto ~ a simple no-cook sauce delicious on pasta, pizza or as an appetizer, made completely in a food processor or blender.

I’m an accidental gardener ~ if I plant it and grows, it’s an accident. My oldest daughter has a green thumb that I’m pretty sure she got it from my husband. Every year we plant tomatoes, a variety of peppers and some other veggies that my husband meticulously cares for. They yield more tomatoes than two people could ever go through. I’m in charge of flowers and herbs. Every year flowers die off and need to be replaced and the herbs do okay, but the basil usually flourishes into a big, beautiful plant with the most amazing aroma and taste. There’s plenty for daily use in sauces, pizzas and caprese salads and a surplus that practically begs to be turned into Basil Spinach Pesto. If you aren’t growing basil you can still buy it practically everywhere and this recipe is spoon-licking good.

Basil Spinach Pesto ~ a simple no-cook sauce delicious on pasta, pizza or as an appetizer, made completely in a food processor or blender.

Most pesto recipes call for pine nuts, but I prefer the flavor (and the price) of walnuts. Either way, it’s made simply in either a food processor or blender.

Pesto Pasta is one of my favorite recipes that uses this Basil Spinach Pesto. Just blend a bit of pesto into hot, just drained pasta along with roasted or sautéed vegetables and if you’d like, a protein like chicken or shrimp.

Basil Spinach Pesto ~ a simple no-cook sauce delicious on pasta, pizza or as an appetizer, made completely in a food processor or blender.

Enjoy Pesto Pasta with that nice bottle of wine you bought with the money you saved using walnuts instead of pine nuts and if it’s warm enough, dine on your Pesto Pasta al fresco and soak up the last of the warm rays before the sun sets. Eat. Drink. Be happy.

Feel more like pizza?

Basil Spinach Pesto ~ a simple no-cook sauce delicious on pasta, pizza or as an appetizer, made completely in a food processor or blender.

Basil Spinach Pesto is delicious just slathered on warm, crusty bread as a side dish or appetizer and is really tasty on homemade pizza. For a quick meal, I love this Veggie Flatbread Pizza on Stonefire Naan Bread but if you have a little more time, learn how to grill pizza – it’s my summer go-to meal.

Basil Spinach Pesto ~ a simple no-cook sauce delicious on pasta, pizza or as an appetizer, made completely in a food processor or blender.

Ingredients:

  • 2 heaping cups of basil, stems removed
  • 1 heaping cup of spinach, stems removed
  • 1/4 cup of toasted walnuts (see below)
  • 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 cloves of garlic, grated
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup of olive oil

How to Make Basil Spinach Pesto :

Basil Spinach Pesto ~ a simple no-cook sauce delicious on pasta, pizza or as an appetizer, made completely in a food processor or blender.

Add the walnuts to a dry skillet and toast them over medium-low heat 2-3 minutes or until they’re lightly golden and you can begin to smell them cooking. Shake the skillet occasionally so they don’t burn.  

Basil Spinach Pesto ~ a simple no-cook sauce delicious on pasta, pizza or as an appetizer, made completely in a food processor or blender.

Next add the basil, spinach, walnuts, parmesan cheese, grated garlic and lemon juice and zest to the food processor (or blender) and pulse for about a minute.

While the food processor is running, stream in about 1/2 cup of olive oil and once it’s blended, turn the food processor off, taste and season with salt and pepper.

Basil Spinach Pesto ~ a simple no-cook sauce delicious on pasta, pizza or as an appetizer, made completely in a food processor or blender.

If you like the texture at this point, transfer the pesto to air-tight containers and refrigerate or freeze (it keeps for up to 3 months). If you prefer thinner pesto, add more of the remaining olive oil a little at a time until it reaches the a consistency you like.

Basil Spinach Pesto ~ a simple no-cook sauce delicious on pasta, pizza or as an appetizer, made completely in a food processor or blender.

Enjoy!

Basil Spinach Pesto ~ a simple no-cook sauce delicious on pasta, pizza or as an appetizer, made completely in a food processor or blender.

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Basil Spinach Pesto
Ingredients
  • 2 heaping cups fresh basil stems removed
  • 1 heaping cup fresh spinach stems removed
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic grated
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2-3/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Add the walnuts to a dry skillet and toast over medium-low heat 2-3 minutes or until they're lightly golden, shaking the skillet occasionally so they don't burn.  

  2. Add the basil, spinach, walnuts, parmesan cheese, grated garlic and lemon juice and zest to the food processor (or blender) and pulse for 1 minute.   

  3. Stream in about 1/2 cup of olive oil while the food processor is running. When everything is blended, turn the food processor off, taste and season with salt and pepper to taste. 

  4. If you like the texture at this point, transfer the pesto to air-tight containers and refrigerate or freeze. If you prefer thinner pesto, add more of the remaining olive oil a little at a time until it reaches the desired consistency.

 

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