Pesto is traditionally made with basil, olive oil, garlic, Parmesan cheese, lemon, salt and pepper. I have a full garden bed of basil, but none of it is ready to harvest yet. However, my spinach overfloweth! So, I am making it with a bit of different ingredients.
Here’s what I used:
- 3 cups of loosely packed spinach
- 1/2 cup of nutritional yeast
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 T. lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup olive oil
First, I washed the spinach in a bath of 1 gallon of water to 1/4 cup of white vinegar. This helps get the dirt, bugs, and any possible mold spores off. I left it in the solution for about 10 minutes. Squeeze the spinach to get most of the water out.
Then, add all the ingredients, except the oil, to a food processor. You can also successfully use a blender.The nutritional yeast used here was because I didn’t have parmesan cheese on hand. It’s also good in this recipe if you need/want to be dairy free.
Blend for a minute or two. You won’t get much “action” but this will start the break up process for the garlic and spinach.
Carefully pour the oil in, drizzling it slowly. Continue until all of it’s added. You may find that you need a bit more of the oil, or less. That’s totally okay. You don’t want it runny or to thick. You want it to be a “gravy over mashed potatoes” consistency.
Gently toss with hot pasta and enjoy! No heating of the sauce required!
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