Sunday, March 11, 2012

Spinach and Basil Pesto with Lemon

St. Patrick's Day is less than a week away so I decided I would share a few recipes inspired by the holiday.  While pesto doesn't tend to come to mind when you think of traditional St. Patrick's Day fare, the color is definitely on point!  Also, with spring right around the corner, this is a great recipe that pairs well with seafood and chicken as well as pasta.

I'm always looking for easy weeknight meals and pesto comes together really quickly so it is a great option for those nights you need something fast.  It also freezes well so you can always double the recipe and put any unused portion in a zip-top bag and freeze for another meal.

Since I was serving this with pasta and shrimp, I decided to add lemon zest to the mix.  That's one of the great things about pesto - You can add in anything from cilantro to sundried tomatoes.  I also added spinach to increase the nutritional value - Any way to fit in a veggie!  This recipe is super simple because you toss everything in a food processor and let it whirl (I made mine in a food processor but you can easily make it in a blender).


Spinach and Basil Pesto with Lemon
Serves: 4

3 handfuls of fresh spinach
2 handfuls of basil
1-2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Zest and juice from 1/2 a lemon
1/4-1/3 cup olive oil
Salt & pepper

Add everything but the olive oil into a food processor.  Cover and begin blending while streaming in the olive oil.  I like my pesto a bit on the thicker side if I'm serving it with pasta.  I'll use the pasta water to thin it out some.  If I am serving this over chicken, I'll add a bit more olive oil so it's slightly thinner.

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