Sunday, March 17, 2013

SPINACH-ALMOND PESTO (EASY)

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Happy St. Patrick's Day, dear reader! I hope you've enjoyed a wonderful weekend. It's been a wonderful weekend here, but in a very quiet, stay-at-home kind of way. As for St. Patty's day, I'm a sorry partier today. No parties, no green clothes, and no Irish alcohol (although, I suppose there's plenty of time left to change that). Instead, I got to enjoy the whole afternoon alone in my apartment. I'm italicizing "alone" in the alone-time-is-so-good-for-the-soul kind of way. It was especially lovely because it's a beautiful day today: blue skies, windows open, sipping tea, and - to be sure I don't get too Utopian on you - sweatpants.

Sweat. Pants.

Yay.

Anyway, to make up for my complete lack of St. Patty's Day spirit, I thought I could at least post something green. Sound good?

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Ah, pesto. Basil-nut-olive-oily goodness that makes your first bite of pasta evoke an audible "MMMmm." Or at least that's my favorite kind of pesto moment. There are so many different pesto recipes and many uses for them. It used to be the case that I would come across a pesto recipe - be it basil, mint, olive, whatever - and think, "Cool. Yes. I want to make pesto... ehh, that's too much work, never mind." But not anymore. People, it's so easy!

The recipe I'm sharing here uses olive oil, garlic, and parmesan, just like tradition basil pesto, but instead of basil we have spinach, and instead of pine nuts we have almonds. That's mostly because spinach and almonds are easy to come by and not as expensive as basil and pine nuts.


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As you can probably tell from the photos, I use just enough oil to make it smooth, so that it's more of a paste than a sauce. It's a little more versatile that way: I can spread it on sandwiches for packed lunches, and use it as a dip for veggies or chips. If I want to use it in pasta, I stir in a little extra olive oil first.

Spinach-Almond Pesto

3 tablespoons almonds
2 cups packed baby spinach
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
pinch nutmeg (opt.)
3 tablespoons olive oil (approx.)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees and toast almonds for 8 - 10 minutes. Combine almonds, spinach, garlic, parmesan, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in a food processor or blender. (I use an immersion blender.) Slowly add olive oil, one big drizzle at a time, until pesto is smooth. Add as much oil as you need for desired consistency.


6 comments:

  1. Oooo I was looking for a recipe for spinach pesto that I didn't need "exotic" ingredients for. I just made a recipe of this (doubled the garlic), and YUM! Thanks for the recipe!

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    Replies
    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Lisa! Thanks for visiting the blog :)

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