Nut-Free Spinach & Basil Pesto
*tree-nut allergy friendly*
This recipe is simply inspired by my allergy to tree nuts. When I go to restaurants and see a chicken pesto sandwich or pasta, I get excited! And then I remember that pesto has pine nuts in it. So, I make it my way at home when I have the craving. I like to pepitas instead of pine nuts because you still get that pleasant, toasted flavor (not that I've had pine nuts ;).
The origins of pesto go back to ancient Rome, and was a paste called "moretum". It is traditionally made with a marble mortar and pestle, but for the sake of keeping it simple, I used a food processor.
1 cup basil packed
1 cup spinach packed
1 cup grated parmesan
1/3 cup roasted pepitas
5 garlic whole cloves
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Optional- 1 pound of cooked pasta
Combine basil, spinach, parmesan, pepitas, garlic cloves, salt, and pepper in a food processor.
Pulse the mixture and stream in the olive oil as you are pulsing to the desired consistency. (you can add a splash of water to the mix to make it a little smoother).
It is ready to serve! This works great on a chicken sandwich or it perfectly covers 1 pound (16 oz) of cooked pasta.
If you are storing just the pesto alone in the refrigerator, keep in a container with plastic wrap on the top for up to one week.
I served mine with 2 chicken breasts sliced into strips, and cooked with olive oil, paprika, red pepper, oregano, dried parsley, salt, and pepper.
It is also delicious served on toasted sourdough bread with sliced tomatoes and grilled chicken.
Also, you can definitely use a blender for this recipe, I just find that its easier to use a food processor because the leaves are too fluffy for the blades to catch them with my blender.