If there’s one food that makes me truly think of summer it’s pesto! Basil is the traditional pesto leaf, but you’ll find in our archives we’ll make anything into pesto. This flavorful condiment is great on just about anything in my opinion. Try it on pizza, pasta, eggs, toast, crackers, as a dip for veggies, spread onto grilled salmon, the list goes on. Pesto is also a great way to sneak extra greens onto kid’s plates.
Once you make pesto a few times you’ll see it’s a really just a combination of hard cheese, toasted nuts or seeds, olive oil, garlic, and salt with a leafy green. Traditional is basil, of course but these days you can throw anything in pesto. For this batch I went with toasted pecans, and walnuts would also be great here. Parmesan is typical, but you can use pecorino romano, or even a hard sheep or goat cheese.
1/2 pound fresh spinach leaves, stems removed, wash and thoroughly dried
1/2 cup – 3/4 olive oil
1 clove garlic
juice from half a lemon
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/4 cup pecans or walnuts
salt to taste
Toast the pecans. Place the pecans in a small skillet over medium heat. Toast, stirring frequently. You’ll know the pecans are toasted when they smell toasty and start to brown. Remove from the pan right away so they don’t burn.
Place the garlic clove in a food processor alone, and process a few times to mince the garlic. When garlic is minced, add cheese and seeds to the processor. Pulse a few times to combine. Add spinach to the processor, turn the processor to high, then stream oil in while processing. Add lemon and salt, and pulse a few more times. Taste and adjust salt and lemon if necessary.