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Spinach and Walnut Pesto

Spinach walnut pesto lectin free

I’ve been making and eating this spinach pesto for a long time, and it’s already featured on this website along with a full meal recipe, but I think this pesto is so easy and tasty, it deserves it’s own space in the recipe index. It’s a great way to incorporate a big quantity of spinach and extra virgin olive oil in your meals, and add some extra vibrancy, nutrition and taste on the plate.

The best base for pizza, great dipping sauce, or dressing

I shared the recipe for pesto a while ago when I posted this yummy dinner idea: Alaskan Salmon Cakes with Spinach Pesto and Avocado, but I figured is much easier to find as a standalone recipe, in the Sauces and Dressings Category.

You need a food processor, a good quality extra virgin olive oil, a handful of walnuts and a handful of Parmigano Romano or Pecorino Romano and organic baby spinach. Never buy non-organic spinach, it tops the list of high pesticide residue score.  I use Kasandrinos extra virgin olive oil, certified organic from Greece, from single-sourced Koroneiki olives. One of the reasons I love getting this oil, other that is really high quality, is the 3L can. As you can imagine, we go though about 1L of evoo per week, so buying high quality olive oil in bottles get pretty expensive.

What about salt? I know iodine is important, so I’ve been using iodized sea salt until I looked closer at the ingredients list and I saw it contains dextrose… just another name for sugar. Why on earth are we adding sugar to salt? Since then, I have two types of salt I’m using; in both iodine and other minerals occur naturally: Himalayan Pink Salt (I also buy Himalania brand from Whole Foods, and sometimes the Costco brand) and Redmond Real Sea Salt. And for finishing touches and more flavor I use Maldon, Sea Salt Flakes.

Nothing to say about garlic, other than don’t use too much, at least I don’t like when the garlic flavor is over powering. Sometimes I even choose not to add it at all when I don’t feel like the garlic after taste. You can use the spinach pesto as a dip, as a side dish or dressing. It is also my most used base for lectin-free pizza.

Spinach walnut pesto lectin free

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Spinach and Walnut Pesto

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By Claudia Curici Serves: Multiple
Prep Time: 10 minutes

An easy and delicious way to add nutrition, vibrancy and flavor to any dish.

Ingredients

  • 5 oz (142g) organic baby spinach
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup raw walnuts
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano (or a mix of both, or replace with nutritional yeast for a dairy-free version)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil or add until you get the desired consistency
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice, optional

Instructions

1

Mix the spinach, garlic clove and walnuts in the food processor until all minced (I do it on high). If the spinach doesn't all fit in the food processor from the beginning do it gradually. Add the grated cheese, pulse again few times. Start gradually adding the extra virgin olive oil while the processor is running on low. Add salt and pepper to taste, lemon juice is you want.

Notes

I store it in the fridge, in a mason jar, for up to one week. If you want a dairy free version, replace the cheese with nutritional yeast.

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Darla Peacock
    February 23, 2019 at 8:31 am

    Hello🙂
    Do you have a suggestion for an inexpensive food processor like to make your pesto sauce?
    Really enjoying your website.

    • Reply
      Claudia
      February 23, 2019 at 9:48 am

      Hi Darla, Thank you so much. Before I got the Cuisine Art I have now (which now costs about 100$) I used a small Ninja blender I bought from Target, is pretty cheap and does a great job, is just a little too small so you will have to make smaller quantities or add everything in batches.

  • Reply
    Tammy
    March 16, 2019 at 8:56 pm

    This protist tasty! As Claudia mentioned done use too much garlic. A small clove will do – even for a garlic lover, such as myself. I had to add the spinach gradually and I added two handfuls of walnuts. It tasted delicious and not super green as some basil pesto tastes to me. Using walnuts also makes it it a thriftier version than using pine nuts. Can’t wait to try it in the Shakshuka tomorrow morning!

    • Reply
      Claudia
      March 17, 2019 at 10:15 am

      Yes, I feel like raw garlic in pesto, any kind of pesto, is too much sometimes. An alternative would be to roast the garlic before, but that complicates things :))

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