Two bunches of spinach were calling my name from the fridge. Just last week I made a wilted spinach salad with roasted cauliflower, so I wasn’t inspired to make another salad for dinner. But I did have fresh basil and pine nuts. To make a tasty vegan pesto without garlic and parmesan cheese was a challenge I felt motivated to take. Here’s the outcome.
Pesto with spinach, parsley, and green olives
This pesto has your standard basil, pine nuts, and olive oil. What makes this version different: Spinach increases the green-vegetable flavor, parsley and green olives add tang, the tomato offers subtle depth, the sunflower seeds make it richer, and the chile produces a hint of heat. Using the pesto: with pasta, eggs, rice, leftovers, tortillas.
- basil leaves, torn
- fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
- parsley, coarsely chopped
- pitted green olives
- fresh tomato, chopped
- toasted pine nuts
- toasted sunflower seeds
- extra-virgin olive oil
- Sriracha chili sauce, chile powder, chopped jalapeño, or your favorite hot sauce (optional)
- Whirl the basil, spinach, parsley, olives, and tomato in a food processor. Add water, broth, or liquid from the olive jar as needed. When fully ground, whirl in pine nuts and sunflower seeds.
- Add a drizzle of olive oil to help the pesto hang together and chile heat if using. Whirl to incorporate. Adjust seasonings and season to taste with salt and pepper.