Pesto is so versatile. With just a few basic ingredients, you can easily make fresh pesto. I love to use pesto as a flavor booster in many recipes. I add it to soups, vinaigrettes, and marinades. I use it as a sauce on homemade pizza and to top grilled meat and veggies. I feature it in a panini, and I simply serve it over warm pasta. I could go on and on (told you it was versatile).
I’ve made many different types of pesto (sun dried tomato and artichoke, to name a couple). However, I usually find myself going back to the classic basil pesto. In this recipe, I took the classic and decided to add one of my favorite ingredients. Fresh spinach gives this pesto a nutritional boost and a vibrant green color. This recipe is also nut free which helps to keep both calories and fat content down. The inclusion of lemon juice adds a brightness to this pesto that most recipes don’t have.
You can put this pesto together in under 5 minutes. Add spinach, basil, garlic, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a food processor. Blend to combine, and it’s ready! Keep stored in an air tight container in the refrigerator for one week, or freeze to use later. I like to freeze pesto towards the end of summer when basil is bountiful (and inexpensive). To do so, add pesto to ice cube tray compartments in 2-3 tablespoon increments. Once frozen, pop them out of the ice cube tray, and add to a freezer safe container. Add the pesto cubes to dishes throughout the winter for a fresh pop of flavor.
This recipe is a must make. I encourage you to keep a jar of it available at all times like I do. I hope you continue to find new ways to utilize the versatility of this spinach basil lemon pesto!
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 1 cup fresh basil
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 3 tbsp parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
- 3 tbsp olive oil
Add spinach and basil to food processor. Pulse 2-3 times to combine. Add garlic, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Pulse 2 more times to combine. With the machine running, add olive oil in a slow steady stream until well combined and emulsified.
Makes: 3/4 of a cup
Notes: Recipe adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod’s Spinach Basil Pesto