Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Basil Spinach Pesto

I have never been a pesto fanatic; that’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy it when I had it, but it’s just not something I ever craved.  However, I am the BIGGEST basil fan!  Go figure, right??  I love the sight of it, I love the smell of it...

Every year, I always have basil in my garden and I would use it for the occasional Caprese salad, tomato sauce, or other Italian dishes.  But every year, my basil always bolts and I end up not being able to use it as it so lovingly should be.  This year, I was bound and determined to not let it go to waste…and I haven’t!  I’ve dried a lot of it, and after talking with my bestie, I decided to try making pesto…it was DELICIOUS!  I could kick myself for not trying to do this sooner!  And this is a pretty (and pretty!) healthy version because I used walnuts, spinach and a lot less oil than your typical pesto recipe calls for.

So don’t let your basil go to waste this year!  There are so few ingredients in this recipe, it’s a breeze to whip up, AND it freezes well, too!

2 packed cups fresh basil leaves
1 ½ loosely packed cups of fresh baby spinach
¼ cup grated Parmegiano – Reggiano cheese (or other parmesan cheese)
3 T extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic
¼ cup toasted walnuts (to quickly toast, toss in a skillet over med/high heat stirring often until lightly browned), cooled
Salt and Pepper to taste

Toss everything into a food processor and pulse until combined.

That’s it!

I tossed it with whole wheat pasta…

Then I spread it on bread…

Honestly, I would have put it on just about anything…

This will keep in the fridge for about 2 days, but it will freeze for up to a month.  Be sure to put a drizzle of olive oil on the top to keep it from browning and store in an airtight container.

Makes about 1 cup
2 T serving each:
Calories 80 / Carbs 1g / Fat 8g / Protein 2g / Fiber 1g / Sodium 26mg

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