Ever since we started having more vegetables in the kitchen, my wife has been on the lookout for great vegetable-heavy recipes. She recently checked out four or five vegetarian cookbooks from the library.
Everything we have made so far has been delicious, but this Winter Pesto was particularly good. It keeps for a long time and, when we have it in the refrigerator, it makes an impromptu pasta even more impromptu-er and very tasty.
Pasta isn’t the only thing this pesto is good for. We spread it on bread, too.
- 2½ cups tightly packed triple-washed fresh spinach, stems removed
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup walnuts (optional)
- ⅔ cup olive oil
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft
Combine the spinach, parsley, basil, garlic, salt, walnuts, and oil in a blender (preferably) or food processor and process until it is a smooth puree. Turn off the machine and scrape down the sides as necessary.
Pour the pesto into a container with a tight-fitting lid and stir in the cheese and butter by hand until well blended. If the pesto is to be used as a sauce for pasta, stir in a few tablespoons of boiling pasta water to thin it out before using.
This pesto will keep for a few weeks if covered with a tablespoon of olive oil and refrigerated.