Stories, Art, Food, Teaching, Travel, and the other Loves of my Life

Stories, Art, Food, Teaching, Travel, and the other Loves of my Life
"Tell me, what is it you plan to do / With your one wild and precious life?" Mary Oliver, "The Summer Day"

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What We're Having Tonight: Spinach Pesto

Ed is not the biggest veggie-man. He'll dutifully eat a few raw ones, mainly tomatoes and cucumbers, assuming they come in salad form, but beyond that, he's not too adventurous: no broccoli, under any circumstances, no more than a bite of swiss chard followed by a gag, and brussel sprouts aren't even up for discussion.

I, on the other hand, love my veggies, in just about any form. Call it the by-product of having a nutrition scientist for a mother. To keep us both happy, we have a lot of salads, and I usually puree whatever's in season beyond oblivion, into a soup that he doesn't even suspect is mostly carrot.

When that gets old, this is my best stand by. He literally had no idea it was mostly spinach until this past Friday, when we were meeting friends for a dinner party, and running behind, so he had to make the pesto while I stuffed the peppers. He kept saying, "Are you sure it's this much spinach?" And I would smile, nod, and remind him that, Honey, I know what I'm doing.

Sneaky Spinach Pesto:
  • 1 bag of organic spinach leaves, cleaned
  • 2-3 handfuls of fresh basil (we grow it on the patio and I basically pick both plants clean every time we make this)
  • 3-8 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Small handful of toasted pine nuts
  • Salt to taste
  • Pecorino Romano cheese to taste (optional)
Puree everything in the food processor until smooth. Toss it with fresh pasta, use it as a dip for bread, drip it over a Caprese salad, bake it over polenta... or, like we did on Friday, make an easy party food: slice mini red bell peppers in half, fill with a spoonful of goat cheese, and top with a dollop of pesto. Bake at 350 for fifteen minutes or until the cheese bubbles slightly.

It keeps well for about a week in the fridge, in an airtight container. Ours has never actually made it that long, but I'm guessing.


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