Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Spinach and Walnut Pesto

When I posted the recipe for the braided bread, I promised to tell ya'll the recipe for the pesto.  So I'm here to tell you now :)  I pulled this recipe from a cook book that Joe's Grandma gave me called Lidia's Italy in America.  It is a companion cookbook to a show featuring Lidia Bastianich that Joe and I watch all the time on PBS.  She travels all over America visiting Italian communities and seeing how they've adapted authentic Italian cooking to fit what was available in the states.  In the cook book she not only has recipes but also stories about her travels in the US and in Italy.  One of my favorite things I've read in there is an Italian saying that I'm trying to memorize so I can say it to Joe.  It goes, "Sei come il prezzemolo, da per tutto", You are like chopped parsley, all over the place!.  Feel free to use it whenever you see fit :)

Back to the pesto recipe.  I only make a 1/2 recipe because it requires A LOT of basil and it ends up making a lot of pesto.  So the amounts I'll list below are for the 1/2 batch.  We've used this in the bread, a pasta dish, on sandwiches, and sometimes I just eat it on pretzels.  Any extras that you don't plan on using right away can be frozen after pouring a thin layer of olive oil on top.  Here's the handy recipe!

Spinach Walnut Pesto 
From: Lidia's Italy in America

1/2 t. salt
4.5 ounces fresh spinach, stems trimmed
1 packed cup basil leaves
1 cup walnut halves, toasted
2 cloves garlic, peeled
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Place the spinach, basil, walnuts, garlic and salt in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse a few times.  While the processor is running, slowly pour in the olive oil in a steady stream.  Process to make a smooth paste, stopping a few times to scrape down the sides.  

It really is that simple!  You could do a lot with this, or keep it simple and eat it with some pita chips.  Here are a couple quick pictures just for your reference.  

Wash the spinach and basil!

A little blurry, but its all in there.

Slowly pour in the EVOO.

All done!
That's all for tonight!  Have a happy Wednesday!

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