Friday, March 25, 2011

Spinach-Basil Pesto

Lately I've been addicted to this pesto, tossing it with thin spaghetti and topping my pasta with grilled shrimp. So yummy! As always, you can adjust the ingredients amounts to your liking.

Spinach-Basil Pesto

1/2 cup Fresh Basil
1 2/3 cups Fresh Spinach leaves
2 large cloves garlic or 3 small cloves of garlic
1/2 cup Fresh Parmesan cheese, broken into small cubes
Juice of 1/2 a Lemon
Zest of 1/2 a Lemon
1/2 cup toasted Walnuts, cooled
Pinch of Red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil , plus more for storing.

Toast the Walnuts in the oven at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes. Watch carefully so they don't burn. Immediately put them in a food processor and let them cool while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Meanwhile, wash and steam basil and Spinach and squeeze dry with a paper towel. Chop garlic roughly and set aside. Zest 1/2 the lemon. Set aside.

Pulse the walnuts in the food processor until coarsely ground. You don't want them too fine. Add the remaining ingredients and the lemon juice. Process, scraping down the sides of the bowl to make sure you have an even consistency. I like my pesto a little rustic so I don't over process it.

To store, I divide the pesto into small Tupperware. Cover with a film of olive oil so that the pesto doesn't turn dark. Serve over pasta (mix with a little pasta water) or use in your favorite lasagna recipe ( mix with the ricotta cheese) or baked fish or chicken, or mix with tomatoes for a delicious topping for bruschetta. The uses of Pesto are endless. Enjoy!