I'm a total pesto newbie. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE pesto, but I just never make it. I always thought it had to be made a certain way, with pine nuts, tons of oil and fresh basil. Well, pine nuts are outrageously expensive, I don't like to go overboard on oil, and fresh basil is not something I always have on hand especially this time of year. However, I DO have an over abundance of greens from my farm share this week.
So I decided to use the fresh spinach and arugula to make a simple pesto style sauce to use on some pasta tonight. I knew the family would NOT be pleased, but I didn't care. I have to use up these vegetables some how and they gotta help!
Dinner was a bit of an adventure. The husband came over to the stove to ask what we were having and immediately made a face. I asked him to try it before judging. He took a bite and had that surprised "hmpf that's not too bad" look on his face. He ate a whole plate.
Now the toddler, he was not as open minded. There were faces and tears and foot stomping all the way too his room. It was CLASSIC. About 5 minutes later he asked if he could come back down and he hesitantly took a bite. The funny thing is he LIKED it but kept saying it looked gross. He ended up eating all the veggies and chicken but only a couple of bites of pasta. A few hours after dinner he confided in me that dinner was really good, but he just thought it looked gross. I'll take it as a win. 😉
- 1 oz shelled walnuts (28g)
- 3 tbsp parmesan (15g)
- 3 cloves of garlic
- ½ tsp of salt
- 1 tsp of lemon juice
- 2 cups of arugula (40g)
- 3 cups of spinach (90g)
- ¼ cup of olive oil (54g)
Toast the walnuts in a skillet over medium heat until they smell toasted and fabulous! 🙂 Just a few minutes shaking now and then.
Add the toasted walnuts, parmesan and garlic to the food processor.
Pulse until well blended and chopped small...
Add the salt, lemon juice, spinach and arugula. If you have a small processor like me just do it in batches adding more and more of the oil as you do, drizzling it in while blending.
Once it's al blended it will look like this...
Part of me REALLY wanted to spread this on a a piece of really good bread and make a sandwich right then and there. Honestly, I'm pissed I didn't save some just for this purpose. Instead I used it all in a pasta dish for the family...
I cooked up some chicken breast cut into chunks, added a bag of frozen mixed veggies (Sicilian blend) and tossed with some whole wheat spaghetti and the pesto. It was fabulous! At least I thought so. 😉
As for nutritional information I'm giving it just for the pesto and you can decide the best way to use it. The recipe made 1 cup and I'm counting an ounce as a serving, which makes sense because there is enough to toss with about a pound of pasta which would be 8 servings. At least it makes sense in my head. 🙂
|Servings||Amt per Serving|
|100||10g||1g||old: 3 new: 3|