Last spring, when I was pregnant with Mini-ion #2, I wanted to prepare some of those “freezer meals” in advance to have ready to eat during the early hectic month of having a new baby. I learned as a breastfeeding momma with Mini-ion #1 that tomatoes I eat cause gas in the baby I breastfeed, and I’ll do anything to reduce the fussiness. So many of those freezer meals are tomato based! I’ve also been trying to stay away from “boxed foods”, looking to prepare my own foods. I think it’s cheaper and tastes better.
With that in mind, I started making my own pesto. Include in that the idea of wanting to put spinach in everything (because spinach is a superfood), it seemed a logical addition to basil pesto. I went to my favorite source of recipes, allrecipes and found this recipe for spinach basil pesto that inspires my pesto.
My Spinach Basil Pesto recipe:
- All the basil I have (this time was able to harvest the basil plants that mini-ions and I grew, Act of Summer Awesomeness #36 – growing herbs),
- Fill the rest of the food processor loosely with spinach
- Two handfuls of walnuts (as a pine nut substitute, as it is cheaper)
- Several large sprinkles of parmesan cheese
- One lemon, squeezed
- Two garlic cloves
- Several shakes of kosher salt
- A couple grinds of pepper
Start running the food processor and add olive oil slowly until it gets close to the consistency you are looking for (spreadable, not too loose). I taste it and then add ingredients until it has the taste I like.
The really magical part of this pesto is the freezer aspect. I’ll cover a baking sheet with wax paper and dump spoonfuls of the pesto on it. I’ll stick it in the freezer for an hour until it hardens into a puck, then peel it off the wax paper into a plastic bag.
When I make pasta, I’ll drop a puck or two into the pasta, and there you have it, basil spinach pesto pasta! The hot pasta melts the pesto puck perfectly. I’ll frequently dress it up with some chopped tomatoes, maybe some chopped mozzarella, cooked chicken and an extra drizzle of olive oil just before serving.
How many pucks really depends on the size of the puck. I’ll use my cookie scoop to make the pucks and will generally use about 3 pucks for a lb of pasta. If it is really dense pesto, I may add an extra swirl of olive oil when serving.
This recipe got me through many impromptu last minute party hostings last summer while managing a two year old and a newborn. I’ll be using it for a short notice bbq this weekend! Hope you enjoy!
- Feast With Five: Vegan Sundried Tomato and Basil Pesto (truefoodlove.wordpress.com)
- Pesto Chicken Pasta (peachykeenkitchen.wordpress.com)