This bright, healthy spinach pesto will keep you energized through the cold months until summer, when the basil pesto rules. Spinach is 50% protein by calorie, one of the many unsung plant sources of "lean protein." Fresh lemon juice transforms this cool-weather pesto into a silver-medal winner. It's thrifty, easy, and healthy as well as being downright craveable. Using "nooch" instead of Parmesan cheese makes this pesto vegan, low-fat, and cholesterol-free.
Craveable Lemon-Spinach Pesto
Active time: 20 minutes. Total time: 20 minutes. Yield: 2 cups or 8 servings.
- 4 cloves garlic
- 6 cups fresh spinach (180 grams)
- 1 cup walnuts (100 grams)
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (nooch)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- freshly ground black pepper, optional
- Drop garlic into a food processor set up with the stainless steel blade and the blade spinning at top speed. Turn the machine off when garlic quits bouncing, after about 10 seconds.
- Put roughly half the spinach into the food processor, then add walnuts, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, water, and salt. (If you have a large food processor, you can add all the spinach at once.) Process on high, pouring in olive oil as the blade spins. Scrape down the processor's sides with a spatula as needed. Add remaining spinach and poke it down a bit into the pesto, then process until almost smooth. Taste, then add a few grinds of pepper or adjust other seasonings if desired, processing to combine.
- Toss lemon-spinach pesto with hot pasta or use as a spread on crackers or sandwiches. (Use gluten-free pasta, crackers, etc. if needed.) Heck, this pesto is so healthy you can eat a spoonful of it guilt-free when it seems that summer will never come. Keeps refrigerated for four days or frozen for a year.