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Saturday, 12 July 2014

Spinach Basil Pesto! (Nut-Free!!!)

Most times, when I use pesto, I just use the tasty pre-made kind.  Most of the time it's because I just don't have enough basil leaves, though.  But when family or friends visit that are allergic to nuts, I think it's nice (and so easy!) to whip up homemade pesto.  Our fabulous organic veggie CSA (community supported agriculture) program Heartbeet Organics provided us with some wonderful basil plants and plenty of delicious spinach the past couple weeks, so it was only appropriate to whip together a nut-free spinach-basil pesto to be used on pasta, pizza, or in recipes like the tasty pesto pasta salad.   I love that if you make a spinach-basil pesto you don't need quite as much basil, which is great early in the season when basil plants are still small.  You can easily make this recipe with nuts by adding in 1/4 - 1/2 cup pine nuts when you're blending things together, but I personally don't think it needs them at all.  Enjoy!
Freshly made!

Spinach Basil Pesto (Nut Free!)
Makes ~ 1 1/4 cups pesto

Blend together in a food processor:
2 cups fresh spinach
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 - 2 tsp dried basil (optional, but nice if you don't have a heaping 1/2 cup of basil leaves)
1 tsp dried oregano
1/3 cup grated romano cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 - 1 tsp ground pepper
1/3 - 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (adjust as desired, since it tends to depend on how you packed/measured your spinach & basil leaves)

Store in the refrigerator 1 - 2 weeks, or freeze up to a month.  

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