Inspiration to cook, is everywhere!
As a Christmas gift for Craig, I joined us up for a winter CSA (community supported agriculture) at a local urban farm, 47th Avenue Farms, here in Portland. It’s been amazing, and reminds us of the old CSA we belonged to, in the Seattle area. Everything is fresh and grown locally, unlike a few we have tried. (Where they still had stickers on the fruit)
Anyhow, it’s been a challenge to get through a lot of the potatoes and carrots. Living with a “part-time” vegetarian, as I call him, you would think potatoes wouldn’t be an issue, but my husband doesn’t care for them. We both like carrots, but really it’s hard to get through 2lbs a week! (Might make a curried carrot soup?)
Anyhow, last week we got 3 large bunches of spinach. And I have been dying to try spinach pesto. So yesterday, I cleaned, de-stemmed and dried all of the spinach, got out my new food processor, and went for it!
Here is the recipe for the pesto, and below it, is how I made the pasta dinner.
2 to 3 cups packed fresh baby spinach
½ to 1 cup mixed fresh parsley &basil
2 to 3 cloves garlic; whole or minced
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
½ to 1 cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil + more if needed
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan
Salt & pepper, to taste
Combine the spinach, parsley, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil (I used about a cup) into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly combined. Add the parmesan and pulse again. Season with salt and pepper.
Cook pasta according to directions.
Reserve about 1 cup of the hot pasta water.
Scoop about ½ cup of the spinach pesto over pasta, mix and add in a small amount of the hot pasta water. The hot water will melt the pesto slightly and coat all of the pasta.
Gently toss to combine.
Top with slices of grilled chicken, if you like.