Spinach, in combination with basil, makes a less intensely-flavored pesto sauce. Some may enjoy this milder flavor, whether served traditionally on pasta, or as a topping for potatoes or an offbeat dressing for potato salad, on grains, or as a garnish for soup.
Makes about 1 ½ cups (enough for 10 to 12 ounces of pasta)
- ½ to 1 cup firmly packed basil leaves, to taste
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Juice of ½ lemon, or more, to taste
- 1 to 2 cloves garlic, crushed, optional
- ¼ cup pine nuts or ½ cup walnut halves
(or omit nuts if you'd like a less caloric pesto)
- 6 ounces baby spinach, rinsed and drained,
or regular spinach, stemmed, chopped, and well washed
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Combine all the ingredients except the salt and pepper in a food processor and pulse on and off until the mixture is a coarse, even puree. You may need to add the spinach in batches if your processor has a small or medium-sized container.
Stop the machine and season gently with salt and pepper; taste to see if you'd like to add more lemon juice. Serve at once — stir into hot cooked pasta or use as suggested above in the headnote.