This past summer I had basil coming out of my ears. So much basil that I couldn't keep it under control, much less eat it all. I discovered my love for pesto. And then, summer was over. My garden went bye bye. What a sad, sad day. In comes the harsh, gray days of winter. I start to dream of spring. Crave fresh herbs. I want basil pesto! Then I came across a couple of recipes for spinach pesto. Spinach pesto? I was skeptical. Downright perturbed even. But, as I am always open to experiment in the kitchen, I thought I must give this a try before dismissing it. So I bought a huge container of spinach. Toasted some walnuts (b/c I never remember to buy pine nuts) and got out the beloved food processor.
waaa la. Spinach pesto. And it's very good. Not quite as delicious as basil pesto, but very good. So, I got to make my favorite spinach pesto pizza. My body probably went into shock at consuming this much spinach at one time.
3 cups of raw spinach, packed tight
1/2 cup raw hazelnuts (walnuts are fine, too) I used toasted walnuts
2 cloves garlic, chopped I used one clove
1/2 cup olive oil I used abt 1/4 cup...just enough to get it to make a paste, depends on how you like it and how you're going to use it.
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese I used Asiago b/c that's what I had on hand
2 tbsp honey
juice from 1/2 lemon (optional) I used a T. of lemon juice
fresh ground salt & pepper, to taste
I also added a pinch of frozen chopped basil. When I had an abundance from the garden I read that you could chop up fresh basil in the food processor with a little olive oil and freeze for use in recipes. It has a much better flavor than dried basil.
In a food processor, combine nuts, cheese, garlic & honey. Pulse until they make a paste. Add spinach, pulse a few times. Then slowly add olive oil until it’s a creamy consistency – but small chunks of spinach are fine. Lastly, add salt & pepper and lemon juice to taste.
(pizza dough recipe - found here except I use half whole wheat flour)
This made an excellent pizza! I wish I had thought to buy feta cheese at the grocery store, but it was still yummy! And my hubs has put up a fence to protect my garden from the dog, has tilled my garden up (twice!), so now I just have to make my rows, and wait for Mother Nature to cooperate!! Bought my first seeds the other day too! Can't wait to get started!
The time change has messed up the Mo'Betta household. My kids were tired and grumpy this morning, and I didn't feel like getting out of bed either. On top of that, it's 20 to 30 degrees cooler than yesterday! But, I'll be happy that it's still light outside at dinner time I guess. Happy Monday peeps.
**I'll be linking up this recipe with these lovely blogs, Eat at Home's Ingredient Spotlight - Spinach, Gooseberry Patch Blog