Sunday, February 24, 2008

A new twist on Pesto!

Recently, while visiting one of my most favorite blogs, Kopiaste, I saw that Ivy had posted a very creative Pesto recipe. We love pesto, and I make it on a regular basis, but I really don't care for pine nuts (a staple of most pesto recipes) at all.
Not only does Ivy use fresh Spinach (!!) in her pesto, she substitutes walnuts for those pesky pine nuts. :-)
We tested her recipe this weekend, and all I can say is 'Pure Culinary Delight!' The spinach gave us a wonderful fresh change from our usual basil, and the walnuts added a fantastic, 'creamy' finish, which, in our opinion, complemented the entire taste experience much better than pine nuts.
I have now decided that all my pesto recipes will be adjusted, using walnuts!

With Ivy's permission, I am reposting her recipe here, followed by my suggestion of using basil, in place of the spinach, just for a change of taste.
This recipe has already taken its place beside my basil pesto, as one of our favorites!

Spinach Pesto
2 cups rough chopped fresh baby leaf spinach
3 spoonfuls of fresh parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup walnuts
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1/5 cup of wine vinegar

Put parsley, parmesan, walnuts, garlic, salt to food vinegar. Mix until smooth. Add olive oil, and half spinach to mixture. Blend until smooth. Add remaining half of spinach and blend until smooth.

This recipe makes 2 cups of pesto. Refrigerate remaining pesto in a glass jar. Pour a thin layer of olive oil over the top. Pesto will keep in the refrigerator for up to four weeks. Additionally, you can freeze pesto in small freezer bags by filling 3/4 full, laying flat, squeezing out the air and sealing. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, not in the microwave.

Variation: 1 cup (or more to taste) of coarsely chopped fresh basil, substituted for the spinach.

For more wonderful recipes, and great everyday stories from the heart of Greece, please visit Ivy's blog, Kopiaste to Greek Hospitality


Wednesday, February 13, 2008


As my wonderful friend Ivy pointed out, some of you may be wondering where I've disappeared to! Unfortunately, I've had some (very irritating) login issues with my blog, which have kept me from posting. Hopefully, the problem is taken care of now. Also, with Valentine's Day upon us, I've been very busy preparing those 'intimate dinners for two' for my clients. It seems many people will be spending the evening at home this year, which is great for me, but very hard work! ;-)

I've also been preparing some pretty big changes for this blog, so keep checking back- with any luck, they'll begin appearing the next few days!