I’m going to level with you. This pesto is amazing. The lemon zest, garlic and chili flakes deliver on bold, unique flavor while the spinach creates a vibrant green color that screams “SHOW ME OFF!” What’s a girl to do? After throwing this pesto together, I spent the next four hours in the kitchen cooking, eating and taking pictures. While this pesto would make an excellent sauce for any veggie, particularly spaghetti squash, I’m going to stick to protein today. More to follow on that…
- 6 handfuls of spinach
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese *use nutritional yeast as a substitute for 100% dairy free
- pinch of salt
- 3 grinds of black pepper
- pinch of red chili pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp lemon zest
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
If you’re familiar making pesto, you probably don’t need my directions. The only thing you need to know is that in order to cram six handfuls of spinach into one food processor you have to do it in two batches. Start with three handfuls, puree with the other ingredients, then when broken down a bit add the last three.
If you haven’t made too many pestos yet, then follow along:
1) Place three hefty handfuls of fresh, clean baby spinach in a food processor.
2) Add all of the remaining ingredients save for the olive oil.
3) Pulse the food processor several times to break up some of the spinach, then let it fly while streaming in the olive oil. Streaming is essential. It emulsifies the oil, giving you a light creamy texture. Dumping it in will give you an oily mess… and who needs oily messes?
4) Now it’s time to add the remaining three handfuls of spinach. Do that and let the processor run until your pesto is smooth.
5) Transfer to a dish of your choice, cover and pop it in the fridge until you are ready to use it. It should last you a good couple days.
Easy, right? I honestly believe the hardest part of making pesto is cleaning up that darn food processor!