I must spend at least as much time reading the food blogs of others as I do writing posts to feature here at feastwisely.com. In some ways the reading bit is more enjoyable than the writing. Not just because it requires less brain power but because my fellow foodies are a big source of inspiration. Take for example “Whole lemon dressing” – a recent post from Chef Mimi that caught my eye.
Mimi’s whole lemon dressing uses the entire lemon. It was the first time I’d seen this – a technique that puts to good use the pith (the white inside bit) and the skin (or peel). Too often these parts of the lemon are discarded without a second thought, but it seems they can be just as valuable as the pulp (or juice).
Reading about the impressive ‘whole lemon’ idea inspired this, my first post of Spring. My zesty spinach pesto is easy to make and is super healthy. And, although I’ve called it pesto it’s very versatile and can easily be used as a pasta sauce or a salad dressing. Since making a giant batch last week I’ve been enjoying a daily fix.
Before I dive into the recipe a few tips:
- The lemon. Given the whole lemon is used be sure to choose one that’s unwaxed, or find a technique online (there are many) to remove the wax from a waxed lemon.
- The spinach. Not a fan of Popeye’s green of choice? Don’t let this put you off – simply substitute the spinach with kale, basil, parsley or even lightly cooked broccoli.
- The cheese. It’s optional – this pesto can easily be made without the Parmesan to create a vegan version. You could always throw in a handful of pinenuts or walnuts for extra flavour.
Ingredients (makes around 5-6 medium jars)
- Approx 500g spinach (English or baby spinach)
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 large lemon (unwaxed)
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 100g Parmesan cheese, chopped into small cubes (optional)
- Salt & pepper
- Wash and dry the spinach and then roughly chop it.
- Wash the lemon and then slice it into 8 – 10 pieces before removing the seeds.
- Gradually add the spinach, garlic, lemon pieces and Parmesan into a food processor.
- Process until eventually combined, gradually adding in the olive oil.
- Season with salt and pepper and give it a final blitz until you have a smooth consistency.
- Transfer into jars, top each with a little olive oil and store in the refrigerator.
- Sterilise the jars first if you’re keen to keep it for more than 5-7 days.
Here are some more pesto like Feast Wisely posts you may like:
- Indian tomato kasundi relish
- Kale pesto
- Mango chutney/pickle – Indian style
- Onion relish (sugar free & fermented)
- Parsnip hummus (vegan)
- Pineapple pickle
- Ricotta – salted & whipped into a citrus dip
- Salsa verde with mint, basil & parsley