Basil-Spinach Pesto with Walnuts

Enough dessert! Let’s take a break for some green goodness! Extremely bright and beautiful green goodness! Green goodness that tastes amazing on noodles and pizza! Green goodness that will have your belly doing a happy dance:)

So join my dance party and fill your belly with this pesto!

This pesto is so easy to make and so delicious! It tastes better than store-bought in my opinion, but I am probably a little biased;) One thing is for sure though, it definitely tastes just as good as store-bought. Part of the reason it tastes better is because I know how fresh it is. I personally put all the ingredients into the food processor and pressed the magical button that turned all those greens into this rich pesto. A little tablespoon packs a whole lot of flavor!!

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So guys guess what? My mom has been hiding things from me!! Not intentionally though. I was cleaning up some wrapping stuff this morning from my mom’s birthday presents! It was her birthday on the 20th! Well anyway, I was putting the tissue paper away and I found a basket full of potential gifts. Sometimes when we win a basket at an auction or get doubles of something, we put the extras into this basket to save for future gifts to people. I knew it existed, but I hadn’t looked through it in a while. Good thing I did because I hit the jackpot! I found TWO decorative small bowls (the pesto was photographed in one of them) and TWO cook books! They’re good cook books too!! They are the Gooseberry Patch ones! We now have 6 of them:) I may be tad obsessed! Oh yes! And I also found body spray from Bath & Body Works! Pink Chiffon to be exact!

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Well let’s talk more about pesto! I had never made it before, so I was super excited to try it out! It truly surprised me. It was crazy easy to make! It’s full of ingredients we almost always have at the house. The weirdest ingredients are walnuts and basil, which are actually relatively common at my house! That’s part of the reason I was so interested in this recipe. Usually the pesto recipes I see call for pine nuts which are like a bazillion dollars, so I always assumed it was easier/cheaper just to buy a jar of pesto. This recipe changed all of that. I literally just pulsed all the ingredients together in a food processor for like 30 seconds. The whole recipe took maybe 5 minutes. The food processor does all the work for you! So don’t be intimidated by homemade pesto! It’s so easy a monkey could do it:)

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My mom likes to make a simple pasta with pesto. It’s super simple! I’ll give you the “recipe”/list of ingredients. Just boil some noodles, chop up some tomatoes, grill/pan fry/bake some chicken, and shred up lotzza motzza. Coat the drained noodles with your desired amount of pesto and then toss in the tomatoes, chicken and mozzarella. Eat it warm or cold! It’s wonderful either way, but it’s especially good warm because it allows the cheese to get all melty:)

My family also enjoy it on pizza! Spread it on the dough as you would pizza sauce and then top it with fresh tomatoes and mozzarella. That Roasted Vegetable Pizza on my blog also uses pesto instead of pizza sauce. I am going to be trying it on a garlic chicken pizza soon I hope:) If it turns out well, I promise to post the recipe!

The recipe came from a magazine, and my mom cut it out for me:) She has good taste!

Basil-Spinach Pesto with Walnuts

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup packed basil leaves

1 cup packed spinach leaves

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan

1 tsp minced garlic (don’t be shy my friends!!)

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Place walnuts on an ungreased baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted, about 8 minutes; remove and set aside to cool.
  2. In a food processor combine all ingredients except olive oil. Pulse until coarsely chopped. Add oil, and process until thoroughly combined.
  3. Store in fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
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