Friday, January 21, 2011

Spinach Basil Pesto

MODIFIED IT: A fair amount.

Pesto is pretty simple and flexible. In my household, there's usually three complaints about the traditional methods:

1) Using all oil makes it a little too greasy. I fixed that by combining oil and chicken stock.
2) Using all basil makes the flavor a little too strong for my wife. Spinach makes an easy substitute to knock it down a bit.
3) I'm not a big fan of pine nuts. I don't think they add much. Replacing some of them with roasted pistachios seemed to help.

This recipe makes about 3 cups. Feel free to cut it in half if you don't need that much.

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed.
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, packed.
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts (toasting them before seems to help)
  • 1/3 cup roasted, shelled pistachios
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper
Put the basil, spinach and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse it a few times to give yourself some room to work.

Then add the cheese, pine nuts, pistachios, garlic, salt and pepper and let the food processor run. Combine the oil and stock and slowly drizzle it in. Continue to process it until it reaches the desired texture, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary.

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