Spinach-Basil Pesto

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"In times when basil isn't quite as abundant, this is a nice alternative. This also takes advantage of toasted walnuts instead of pine nuts for those who may not have them on grocer's shelves, or seeking an economical substitute. You can find the walnut pieces in 1/2 cup bags in the baking section of your store."

Original recipe yields 5 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (185.9 g)
  • Calories 750.5
  • Total Fat - 58.9 g
  • Saturated Fat - 8.5 g
  • Cholesterol - 11 mg
  • Sodium - 1026.2 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 51.4 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 1.6 g
  • Sugars - 41.7 g
  • Protein - 6.1 g
  • Calcium - 163.7 mg
  • Iron - 0.8 mg
  • Vitamin C - 4 mg
  • Thiamin - 0 mg

Step 1

To begin, toast the walnut pieces. This is an easy process that really brings out the flavor of the nuts. Take a small skillet and bring the heat up to medium. Toss in the nuts. No oil, no cooking spray - just the nuts. Give them an occasional shake and take them off the heat as soon as you smell the walnuts. This will only take a couple of minutes. Toasting brings the oils to the forefront and brings a much more complex taste to the nuts.

Step 2

Set up the food processor and dump in the spinach, basil, toasted walnuts, garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice, lemon zest, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Pulse until the mixture is nearly smooth, taking the time to stop and scrape down the sides with a spatula a time or two. At this point, drizzle the rest of the olive oil in as the processor is churning. Once all the oil is added, stop the processor, stir in the grated cheese and serve.

Tips & Variations

No special items needed.