Really green pesto

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)
  • salt
  • pepper
  1. 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.
  2. 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.

3 thoughts on “Really green pesto

    • I like your cool idea of adding white miso! Would never have thought of that. I’m wondering if nutritional yeast might add a parmesan-like flavor—so thanks for making me think. Hope you’re doing well.

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