Thursday, April 15, 2010

Spinach Basil Pesto

This post is a part of Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade.

Do you like pesto?  I love pesto!  The produce buying group I belong to had some basil last week & I decided it was time to make some homemade pesto.  I found this great recipe for Spinach Basil Pesto, which was perfect because I also had some baby spinach in my fridge too.  I love this because you just mix it up in your blender (ok, not my blender- it's too wimpy!) or your food processor & it's done.

You start with 1 1/2 cups baby spinach, 3/4 cup fresh basil (I used more), 1/2 cup pine nuts, 1/2 cup grated parmesan, 4 cloves garlic, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons olive oil.  The recipe also calls for lemon zest, but I'm not a fan of "zest" so I left it out.  You blend it together (it was at this point I realized my blender could not handle this & I transferred it to the food processor), then drizzle in remaining olive oil (about 3/8 cup).  OK, it's ready!

What a yummy way to get your greens!  We had ours on.... (true confessions time) store bought ravioli.  Well, it was organic, but a little too processed for me.  But it was my daughter's night to choose what we were eating.  Several years ago I got tired of my daughter always complaining about what I was making for dinner (complaining because she wanted what *she* wanted), so we came up with a compromise: one night a week she gets to choose what we have for dinner (no take-out) & the other nights I choose & no complaints!

She does love to cook & wanted to make pizza for lunch a few days later.  I made Sarah's Sourdough Pizza Crust and my daughter made all the pizzas- she decided to make an assortment of mini pizzas.  We came up with the idea of having pesto chicken pizza (she cut up the leftover Baked Chicken Breasts Supreme).  She also made a cheese pizza for her brother and a couple nitrate-free organic pepperoni ones!   We put the extra mini pizzas in the freezer so she has meal options for a different day.  Since I believe in giving credit where credit is due, I told her she could be in the picture of these awesome pizzas.  She jumped at the chance...

And, I have one other great way to use pesto that I have to share- it's so good.  You take a whole cut up chicken with skin on.  Loosen the skin on each piece of chicken and spoon pesto under the skin.  Bake in a pan as usual.  You will get wonderfully flavored chicken pieces!



  1. Yum! I love pesto too and I love making spinach pesto! Another pesto I like to make is parsley pesto. It's great on crackers and as a dip.
    Those pizzas look great! Ohh and that chicken-pesto recipe sounds marvelous!!

  2. Thanks Michelle- I saved some pesto in the freezer & have got to make the baked chicken pesto next time I have chicken- it's really good!

  3. Oh, yum! I love pesto! What a great idea to put it on chicken. I'll have to try that.

  4. Hi Michele- I'm sure you will love the chicken pesto too :)

  5. Found your blog thru Nourishing Gourmet. I love what you're doing here! Made your spinach-basil pesto tonight and used it on pizza. I licked the blender clean - it was so tasty! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  6. @Susanna- welcome & LOL about the pesto- I keep making more pesto too! :)


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