A Milder All-Purpose Pesto: Spinach-Walnut Pesto

Pesto being processed.
Image via Wikipedia

I actually made this pesto last fall with the last of the basil, but I froze it in ice cube trays and have found many uses for it since. Since this recipe replaces half the basil with spinach, it has a milder taste and can be used in greater quantities than classic pesto. Because the spinach flavor doesn’t overwhelm, this is a good recipe for sneaking a healthy vegetable in unexpectedly. I like this pesto best as a sauce for fresh tortellini or ravioli, but as we discovered last night, it makes a great pizza sauce, particularly if the pizza also features fresh spinach. (I also added crumbled bacon, fresh mozzarella and tomato to the pizza.)

Spinach-Walnut Pesto

Time to make: ~10 minutes
Yields: 2 cups

  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, stems removed
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup walnuts, toasted
  • ½ cup Parmesan, grated

Combine everything in a food processor and process until pureed.

This pesto freezes very well. Freeze 1 tablespoon portions in ice cube trays. Once the pesto is frozen, transfer the cubes to a large freezer bag. Then you can just remove and defrost what you need for the dish.

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6 thoughts on “A Milder All-Purpose Pesto: Spinach-Walnut Pesto

  1. pam 8 May 2009 at 6:12 am

    Oh, I bet that would be perfect for pizza.

  2. Shannon 8 May 2009 at 9:43 am

    I think it worked out really well. I love using pesto on pizza. You almost don’t need any other toppings.

  3. j 9 May 2009 at 8:45 am

    try throwing in a little arugula for zing.

  4. Shannon 9 May 2009 at 1:02 pm

    Great suggestion!

  5. Shanon (another one) 29 October 2009 at 11:34 am

    I made this recipe for my family during Thanksgiving last year and my niece won’t leave me alone to make another batch. It is her birthday this weekend so I am going to take her 2 batches. I served it with warm french bread.

  6. Shannon 29 October 2009 at 2:11 pm

    Sounds great, other Shannon. I’m glad you both enjoy it.

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