Basil and Spinach Pesto

Basil and Spinach Pesto (A Seat at the Table)

Pesto is one of those quintessential summer foods.  The fresh, bright taste of basil just screams summer produce.  So I’ve been making pesto like crazy while there’s still an abundance of fresh basil.  You can easily freeze pesto too, so make lots and save it for a cold, wintery day when you need a hit of summer flavor.  I’ve made this at least 3 times in August and everyone loves it so much I’m not sure if I’ll have much squirreled away for the winter!

I like to add spinach, or arugula, or kale to my pesto to make it go farther.  It gives just a hint of a different flavor and adds other great nutrients like iron or vitamin K.  I’ve served this with whole wheat pasta, or ravioli and add in some sautéed zucchini and chickpeas for extra satiety (and to use up the zucchini from my CSA).

Basil and Spinach PestoBasil and Spinach Pesto (A Seat at the Table)

Makes about 2 1/2 cups

  • 8 oz fresh basil
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups spinach
  • 1 cup grate parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup pine nuts
  • 5 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt

In a large food processor, combine all ingredient and blend until smooth.  If not using immediately, divide pesto among storage containers and top with a drizzle of olive oil to keep the bright green color on top, freeze or store in the refrigerator.Basil and Spinach Pesto Pasta (A Seat at the Table)

Or serve immediately with pasta, in eggs, as a sandwich spread, or as a mix in for soup.  When adding to pasta, reserve about 1/2 cup of the cooking water to help thin out the pesto if necessary to really coat your pasta, add just a little bit of water as necessary.

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