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  • Writer's pictureBree

Spinach Almond Pesto

Updated: Oct 9, 2019

If you think "blasphemy!" when you see the words spinach and almond before the word pesto, you can leave. If you don't, stick around for a perhaps more inclusive version of everyone's favourite green paste!

I, for one, don't always have basil (my plants last one week max) or pine nuts (I'm not a millionaire) on hand. I am, however, more likely to have spinach and almonds in my kitchen. I almost always want pesto, so this adaptation gives me the ability to eat it even if I haven't planned ahead.

I will begin by saying that you shouldn't bother making pesto if you're not going to do so with a mortar and pestle. If you don't have one, go buy one. They're like $11 on Amazon, so if you can afford a food processor, I promise that you can buy one of these babies.

In Episode 226 of the Bon Appétit Foodcast, Food Director Carla Lalli Music informs us that pesto, as a broad term, refers to a mode of preparation, not a specific food or even its ingredients. Pesto comes from the same word as pestle, the Italian verb pestare, meaning to crush or pound. But enough linguistics, lets get to the recipe:

1. Start by crushing your almonds into a paste. Toast them before if you're not lazy, settle for less-than-perfect flavor if you are lazy (like me when I photographed this recipe).

2. Then crush in a small clove of garlic (leave it whole).

3. Then crush in your spinach, I used about a handful to yield enough pesto to smear two bagel halves. It should be fully incorporated and a brighter green when it's ready.

4. Shred in some parmesan (like a thumb's worth, depending on how cheesy you like things), and pour in some oil. Remember, you want the pesto to be a paste, not a sauce, so don't go overboard.

5. Add cracked pepper, sea salt, and lemon juice (sorry, maybe that's also alienating) to taste.

6. Praise the Ligurian gods for popularizing this green goodness.

That is pre-grated parmesan, not butter.

Makes a single-serving of pesto. Double/triple/quadruple if desired.

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