Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Vegan Spinach Pesto

I know it's not summer yet, but the local Whole Foods had some gorgeous basil when I was there earlier this week, and I made pesto tonight.  Here is a cheese-less, nut-less recipe I've finally tweaked to my satisfaction that actually tastes good, is allergy- and kid-friendly (because my kids are among the pickiest in the 'Verse), and sneaks a little nutrition in there.  It's vegan not because I am one but because I avoid cheese most of the time.  Sigh.  I love cheese.

Vegan Spinach Pesto

5 oz. baby spinach, washed (I ♥ Olivia's Organics Baby Spinach), or use frozen spinach that has been thawed
3 cloves garlic (you can use less if you or your kids aren't used to raw garlic, but 3 is just right in our house)
1 bunch fresh basil, leaves picked off, soaked (if sandy), rinsed, and dried
3/4 t. salt
freshly-cracked pepper to taste
1/2 c. brewer's yeast

Combine the spinach and a splash of water in a microwave safe container.  Cover and nuke for two minutes or until spinach is soft.  (If using frozen spinach you really only need to defrost it.)  Drain.

With the motor running on its highest speed, drop garlic cloves, one at a time, into the chute of your food processor (keep those fingers OUT!).  If you can do it without making too much of a mess, I'd carefully add (I use tongs) the nuked spinach through the chute, as well (blade still a-whirring), but you can stop the machine, take off the cover, and add the spinach if you'd rather.

Add the mostly dried-off basil leaves through the chute with the motor running, though, and then add the remaining ingredients and process until to desired consistency.  Add more olive oil if you want a thinner pesto.  Serve with whatever kind of noodles you like, or use as a sauce for chicken or other meats.


Lisa said...

It was such a happy day when Piper decided she liked pesto last year. One of her favorites now is pesto pizza with tomatoes. That's very similar to the recipe I use.

Rhonda said...

If you like cilantro, try using that in place of the basil. I did this last year just before the cilantro in the garden threatened to go to seed. It was wonderful on pesto pizza!