Growing Basil is not that difficult of an endeavor, trust me I have killed enough plants to know what horticultural tasks are within my capabilities, and I almost always manage to have a live basil plant back porch. But even with your own plant you can come up short a few cups of leaves, thus the spinach that I tossed into this recipe, and I was thrilled with the results. It gave a softer and slightly more mellow flavor to the pesto. I use pesto for everything including: pasta sauce, sauce for grilled chicken and fish, base for salad dressing, in a meatloaf, on a pizza, and as a spread on wraps and sandwiches.
Spinach and Basil Pesto
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup pignolis pine nuts
- 3 tablespoons chopped garlic 6-9 cloves
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves packed
- 3 cups fresh baby spinach
- Juice and zest one lemon
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups good olive oil
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Place the walnuts, pignolis, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for 15 seconds. Add the basil & spinach leaves, salt, lemon juice/zest and pepper.
With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly pureed. Add the Parmesan and puree for a minute. Use right away or store the pesto in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin film of olive oil on top.