August 23, 2014

Spinach-Walnut Pesto

This is a totally vegan, elimination diet-friendly recipe that is a spin-off of the traditional pesto recipe. I already experiment with alternative pesto recipes in my cookbook The Bajio's Bounty by adding cilantro in with the basil. But this pesto recipe goes even further and only has 8 simple ingredients:

3-4 cups fresh baby spinach
1/2 c. olive oil
1/3 c. walnuts
1 clove raw garlic
1/8- 1/4 c. water
1/2 tsp. vinegar, or 1/2 squeezed lime
black pepper to taste
salt to taste (1/8-1/4 tsp)

It's very easy to make with a blender. You simply place the walnuts, garlic, and olive oil in the blender and blend on medium power until smooth. Then you add 2 of the cups of spinach and 1/8 a cup of water and continue to blend until smooth. How much more spinach, water, salt and pepper depends on your tastebuds and how much of a workhorse your blender is. Once the pesto is blending smooth, you simply open the lid and keep adding a few spinach leaves at a time until it gets too thick to blend well, at that point you can add a bit more water if you still have more spinach to blend. Store in a tightly-closed container and consume within 1 week or freeze.

Experiment with adding basil, cilantro, or other fresh herbs to this recipe, it can only enhance the flavor. Enjoy with pasta, french bread, or as a garnish over dishes.

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