My basil plant is suddenly going a little crazy. Of course it is at the very end of summer. One of my favorite things to do with my fresh basil is to make pesto! I think that I've loved pesto most of my life. The first time I ever had it was atop a pizza, and I was hooked from then on.
Pesto is an amazing blend of fresh greens, cheese, pine nuts and olive oil. It's usually a pretty fattening thing! I like to cut mine down by using a lot less oil and pine nuts. Plus, adding spinach gives an extra little boots to protein and vitamins. At least I don't feel as guilty with eating it with all of my justifications, right?
Oh, look how bright and beautifully green that pesto is!
Seriously. If you compare it to what you buy at the store, you'll be surprised with the difference in colors between fresh and jarred.
I've actually made pesto twice this week. My first batch didn't turn out so well. I used way too much garlic and it was very much so on the spicy side. I couldn't do too much to salvage it, unfortunately. All in all, with this batch, I used about 2 teaspoons worth of minced garlic. If you want a little more zip to your pesto, just add a little more to taste and season as you go.
I ended up serving my pesto over some spaghetti squash and chickpeas which made for a fantastic meatless meal on a hot August day.
I'd say that all together I spent about 15 minutes of hands-on time making dinner. That's all! Pesto is one of those amazing things that comes together really quickly with very few ingredients. If you aren't a fan of pine nuts (or any nuts), then feel free to leave them out. They probably wouldn't be missed at all, but I wanted some in there just to say I was being authentic.
Skinny Spinach & Basil Pesto
Servings: 6 • Size: About 1 Tbsp. • Calories: 143.1 • Fat: 13.8 g • Carb: 1.5 g • Fiber: 0.8 g • Protein: 4.4 g • Sugar: 0.2 g • Sodium: 161.2 mg
1 C. Fresh Baby Spinach, Packed
1 C. Fresh Basil, Packed
2 Garlic Cloves
1/2 C. Parmesan Cheese, Grated
4 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tbsp. Pine Nuts
Toss all ingredients together in a food processor and blend to your liking.
Enjoy as you would any other pesto!
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.