Pesto is such a fun and easy meal to make that speaks of Summer in it’s abundance. I like to make Pesto at the end of the season with the last of the Basil from the garden. I tried a new recipe the other day and I swear it is my new favorite pesto recipe. This is also a great way to use up the remaining pesto and some spinach from the garden. Before your basil and spinach disappear harvest them and use them in this really great recipe.
Start with some spinach and…
some basil and what can go wrong?
For this recipe you begin with 1 1/2 cups baby spinach leaves. Now, I harvested them from my garden that morning but store bought works just fine.
Next add 3/4 cup fresh basil leaves. These are best from your own plants but can be bought from the grocery store.
Next you’ll need 1/2 cup of toasted pine nuts (you can substitute walnuts for the pine nuts)
1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and quartered
3/4 tsp. kosher salt ( I use sea salt)
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Fresh garlic really adds more taste than the pre-chopped garlic you can buy. I also added a little more lemon zest because we really like lemon.
Blend the spinach, basil, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice, lemon zest, and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a food processor until nearly smooth. Drizzle the remaining olive oil into the mixture while processing until smooth.
Prepare your favorite pasta according to package directions.
Add a dollop of pesto to the pasta in your bowl and mix. Then add some extra cheese for extra goodness and enjoy. Serve this with a simple green salad and you have a wonderful meal in no time.
You can freeze the extra pesto in small plastic containers or ice cube trays. It takes about one- two pesto ice cubes for a bowl of pasta. The lemon in this recipe really adds to the very fresh flavor. Serve it in a pretty pasta bowl with a crisp salad and you have a meal fit for royalty. I hope you love it as much as we do. You can also use pesto to bake fish and chicken.