Pesto has always been a special favorite of mine... as though its ingredients were terribly rare or difficult to prepare... it's that luxuriously delicious. Fortunately, as pre-packaged versions don't at all measure up to homemade, it's quite simple to make. Pesto can be customized to whatever is in season- or growing in your garden as the case is with me- nothing needs to be measured precisely... all you need is a trusty food processor and you're ready to go.
Last weekend Jim harvested a TON of fresh spinach from our garden, half of which I boxed into leftover stay-fresh spinach boxes I'd saved from the market (for our delicious morning green smoothie) the other half I made into an amazing Spring Garden Spinach & Chive Pesto. I absolutely LOVE spinach pesto -even better than basil or arugula versions. I made a large enough batch that we couldn't use it all immediately so I froze the bulk in ice-cube trays then popped the cubes into a ziplock freezer baggie. Great trick! Now we have Spring Pesto on hand whenever we need it- which er, seems to be every day suddenly...
Slathered on sandwiches
Tossed with a beautiful pasta
Starring in a to-die-for potato salad
Smeared on country bread topped with Mozzarella di Bufala
Tossed with grilled vegetables...
Jim... I think it's time to harvest the rest of that spinach! We're already running low on our Spring Pesto supply:)
Below, I thought I'd share a few bonus snaps (please click them to enlarge for better, larger view) from the garden which is more and more breathtaking by the day! We've been enjoying collard greens, spinach, radishes and herbs so far this Spring with lots more on the way... purple potatoes, fingerlings, peas, carrots, beets, squash, melon, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers & eggplant! My husband has created the most magnificent world of beauty just outside our kitchen door.
Spring Garden Spinach & Chive Pesto
- 8 cups fresh spinach packed (or substitute arugula, flat leaf parsley or basil)
- 1 cup fresh chopped chives (to help food processor out a bit)
- 3/4 of a cup of TOASTED walnuts and pinenuts (or substitute your favorite combo of nuts- but definitely toast them!)
- freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano (or substitute Pecorino or Asiago)
- 2 or 3 cloves garlic coarsley chopped (to assist food processor)
- juice of 1/2 lemon- or an entire lemon- suit your taste- provides a beautiful freshness
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil- or more to create desired texture
- sea salt to taste
- fresh cracked pepper to taste- just a wee bit
- Pulse the greens and chives together in your food processor until the bulk of the spinach is reduced greatly.
- Add the toasted nuts, cheese, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil and pulse until you achieve a desirable texture.
- Season with sea salt and a WEE bit of fresh cracked pepper to taste.
Empty Spinach rows following Jim's record holding Spinach harvest... no worries, there is more growing to the right of this photo.
What are your favorite Springtime veggies?
Are you growing anything edible in your yard this year?