Have you ever had a surplus of something in your fridge and you were left wracking your brain trying to figure out WHAT in the world you were going to do with it? Last week we had a church function where we were to bring salad and all of the fixings to feed a large crowd. I purchased a few heads of lettuce and my mother in law purchased several big packages of spinach. We actually wound up with a good bit more food than we needed, so we were left with all of the spinach to take home.
I feel like I’ve been up to my ears in salad here lately because of this spinach surplus. I’ve been eating spinach salad for a few days now, so I’m definitely ready to move on. Since spinach has a pretty short shelf life, I knew I needed to get busy finding other ways to incorporate it into our meals.
I keep a few fresh potted herbs growing in my window sill that I love to snip and use in my cooking from time to time. I noticed the other day that my basil has really taken off and is starting to grow super fast. I thought to myself, “Man.. I wish I had enough basil to whip up a batch of my basil and walnut pesto!” – That’s when it hit me, y’all. I could totally make pesto out of all this spinach instead of using traditional basil!
I use pesto in my cooking all the time. My husband and I are crazy about these glazed poppy seed turkey pesto sliders that I make pretty frequently, but we also love to use it in pasta dishes, on homemade pizzas, and whatever else we can come up with. If you have all of the ingredients on hand, it’s SO quick and easy to make. Just toss in a blender and PRESTO! Or….should I say pesto? 😉
Aside from using basil, most traditional recipes also call for using pine nuts. I’ve actually never made it with pine nuts because, quite frankly, the price of pine nuts is just flat out rude. I’m just going to assume they’re harvested from the tallest mountain in the most rural parts of the world and are from plants made of pure gold for the price that they’re running at these days. Until pine nut prices calm down, I’m sticking to walnuts. They’re a super delicious alternative, and they’re heart healthy, too! 😉
Here’s a free printable copy of my recipe for you can try. You can also sneak over to my recipe for basil walnut pesto if you’d like to give that one a try, too!
- 2 cups spinach - packed
- ½ cup walnuts - chopped
- 1 tsp minced garlic (or 2 cloves)
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 TBS butter
- ¾ cup shredded Parmesan Cheese
- ½ tsp salt
- Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until completely combined.
- Add to your favorite pasta dish or use in your favorite recipe!
- Store leftover contents in an airtight container
Are you a pesto lover like I am? What sort of dishes do you like to use pesto in? I’m always looking for a new pesto-infused recipe to try! If you’ve got a recipe to share or if you give this recipe a go, I’d love to hear all about it!