Monday, March 13, 2017

Spinach Pesto

I cannot WAIT for it to warm back up so I can have my fresh, fragrant basil in my kitchen. It's been way too long without homemade margherita pizza and homemade pesto! To get me through my basil dry spell I tried using other green herbs and veggies. The first trial pesto recipe I tried was using parsley.


Grilled chicken and penne with parsley pesto


Pros: 
Parsley is ALWAYS at the grocery store
- A bunch was rather inexpensive
- It's so pretty!

Cons:
- I had to add quite a bit of seasoning to get some kind of flavor
- Less leaves, more stems

It wasn't horrible, but lacked any real flavor. I even tried to spruce it up with some Italian seasoning and dried basil I keep on my seasoning wall. {Yes, I have a seasoning wall. No, it is not NEAR as pretty as I want it to be. Ah, the joys of renting.}


Trial recipe #2: spinach pesto. I tweaked this recipe a little from my parsley recipe, and it wasn't half bad. Let me apologize before hand for the pictures. This is what happens when you have VERY limited counter space in the kitchen. I do what I can.



Here's what you'll need:


baby spinach, garlic, parmesan, lemon juice, pine nuts, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste
Y'all, I'm almost out of my olive oil I bought in Italy last summer. I may cry.


I started off by toasting my pine nuts in the oven. {With my lack of kitchen space, I always find it easier to line my bake-ware with foil for easier clean up.} Toast the pine nuts for about 6 or 7 minutes on 375℉. I can't even tell you how good the house smelled while these were toasting in the oven. I went 7 minutes ... but probably could have taken them out a minute before I did.


While the pine nuts were toasting, I got my spinach washed and tried to free up some more space on the counter top. When they were ready, I added the pine nuts and 3 cups of spinach into my Ninja Chopper. 


It doesn't take long for this bad girl {my appliances are all girls because they work so hard 😉} to get the pine nuts and spinach blended together. Once those two are mixed pretty well, I add my garlic, Parmesan and lemon juice. I like to wait and add my salt and pepper at the very end. Sometimes, I don't even need them.




Gradually add olive oil in between pulses to the spinach mixture. Be sure to add it slowly, you may not need the whole amount. A couple more spins in the Ninja and presto! There's my pesto! 


I won't lie, it wasn't as good as the basil pesto I'm used to making, but it wasn't bad. I finished it off 3 1/2 meals! I like to pair my peso with chicken and shrimp, but all I have right now is chicken. Lemme tell ya, it was delicious! So delicious, in fact, that I forgot to take a picture of my dinner before I started chowin' down. My roasted veggies {I'll make a post on them soon, but they're suuuuuper easy} were the perfect side item for my chicken covered pesto.




Click the button below to download and print this recipe! {The downloaded file contains the full page and 4x6 color and B&W recipe files}


Looking for more recipes? Check out some of my other posts of snacks, appetizers and meals!







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