For years, pesto, the fresh sauce originating in Genoa in the Liguria region of northern Italy and enjoyed by the Ancient Romans, consisted of the traditional combination of basil, garlic, olive oil, pine nuts and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Fast forward to modern times and pesto now takes on a multitude of flavor possibilities. Both delicious and nutritious, Pesto Florentine, made from tender baby spinach leaves and toasted almonds, is a fabulous twist on the old time favorite. Toss with pasta, serve over chicken, fish or vegetables or stir into an omelet….the possibilities are endless!
4 cups (4 oz.) baby spinach leaves
4 cloves garlic, skins removed, chopped
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted*
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1. In food processor or blender, combine spinach, garlic, almonds, Parmesan and kosher salt. Process until coarsely chopped.
2. Add olive oil. Process until blended and smooth.
3. Store in refrigerator for up to one week with plastic wrap directly on surface of pesto or freeze in ice cube trays for up to one month.
Makes 1 cup pesto.
*Toasting nuts in microwave: Simply arrange nuts in single layer on paper plate. Microwave for 1 minute. Then microwave in 30-second intervals until lightly toasted. Timing will vary according to wattage of your microwave. http://swirlsofflavor.com/who-knew-tips-and-bits-of-culinary-information/
Try Pesto Florentine in these recipes too! They’re fabulously delicious!
Substitute Pesto Florentine for the store bought pesto in these recipes. You’ll be happy you did!