Lemony Spinach & Walnut Pesto

 Lemony Spinach & Walnut Pesto

Lemony Spinach & Walnut Pesto

Every week my husband gets up at 4am, heads off to the organic veggie market and comes home with a cornucopia of delicious fruit and veg.

One particular day he came home with a 5 kilo box of baby spinach! That week we ate baby spinach in every possible form! And this was our absolute favourite. I always know I'm onto a winner when I find myself standing over the food processor enjoying a second, third and fourth taste!

I now make this every few weeks in a large batch. We toss it through risotto and pilafs, pastas, serve it with fish and chicken, and enjoy it as a dip with crackers and veggie sticks.

I have written before encouraging you to make pesto your way. I encourage you to tinker around with the ratios of ingredients in this recipe until you arrive at the exact flavour profile and texture you enjoy! And while you're at it, try my Basil Pesto, Vegan (Dairy-Free) Pesto and my absolutely DIVINE Tangy Mint & Pistachio Pesto! I dare you not to eat it by the spoonful straight out of the food processor! 

Provided you don't add a crazy amount of oil, pestos can be a great, super-healthy alternative to store bought sauces in your cooking. And a fantastic way to add fresh veggies, nuts and herbs to your diet!

Here's the recipe:

Ingredients

400g (or 4 big handfuls) baby spinach (or you can use english spinach too!), washed and drained.
2 cups shelled walnuts
2 cloves garlic, peeled (or as many as you want. If you look at my pic you will see that I have used a LOT of garlic. But the garlic I have used is elephant garlic which has a very mild flavour).
80-100g parmesan cheese (we use provolone for this recipe too!)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Juice of one lemon
1 1/2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
OPTIONAL: 2 teaspoons lemon zest (if you want an extra lemony flavour).

Method

Place all ingredients except lemon juice in a food processor. Process to combine the ingredients, adding the lemon juice in a fine stream until you have reached your desired consistency.
You may need to open up your food processor and scrape down the sides once or twice to make sure everything combines well.
Taste and add salt and pepper according to your preference. You can also add in an extra tablespoon of olive oil if desired.
Give it a final blend to mix everything together.

Blending time will very much depend on your desired consistency. I like my pesto quite chunky and rustic, so I stop short of processing it until it is completely smooth.

Enjoy!

 Lemony Spinach & Walnut Pesto

Lemony Spinach & Walnut Pesto