Walnut-Spinach Pesto on Quinoa!

I read a post online called How to Make Pesto out of (Almost) Anything and got very inspired; my basil crop has been lackluster (this is what I get for growing four kinds of herbs in one badly-drained bucket) but I had a box of spinach/spring mix that was almost bad when I put it in the freezer. This is what I do with greens that are a tad slimy, and I was intrigued to see if I could mix up a pesto that would mask the greens with delicious flavors.

I started by sautéing the greens with a lot of garlic – two enormous cloves that volume wise were more like three normal cloves, sliced. The greens got a quick splash of olive oil too, so that the garlic would brown up a little. While this was happening, I roasted some crushed walnuts till they made the whole house smell nutty.

In my darling three-dollar food processor I whipped those two together with salt, pepper, and 1/3 cup of parmesan cheese. I didn’t know why but I went with the advice to put a generous squeeze of lemon juice in from my trust lemon-shaped squeeze bottle of juice, and then added a little bit more olive oil. I had to get into the processor and scrape everything off the walls once, add just one more tablespoon of oil, and then voila!

I made the quinoa in the normal way (boil 1 cup quinoa with 2 cups water, let simmer 15 minutes with the lid on or until the water was gone), and then cut in half about 12 cherry tomatoes because the crop is about to completely take off and I don’t want them piling up. I mixed the quinoa, all of the pesto, and the tomatoes, and when I served it, Husband declared it a success! He said it had a lot of flavor, which isn’t something he often says about vegetarian dishes. Shout out to E for being the first person to teach me that quinoa is a wonderful meal (she mixed cut cucumbers, raw tomato chunks, and feta with quinoa… SO REFRESHING.) and to N for always showing me new ways to use the old favorite. I also am so happy that I have a way to make something pesto-flavored that is disguising a whole box worth of sautéed greens, not just basil… Wonderful!

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11 comments on “Walnut-Spinach Pesto on Quinoa!

  1. David says:

    Great idea!

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  2. This sounds delicious! Me too love using spinach and cilantro for pesto rather than only basil. Combination of pesto and quinoa sounds lovely. Have to give it a try 🙂

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  3. foodinbooks says:

    Looks lovely and delicious, and healthy! Like you, I’ve experimented with variations on pesto. The best one I think I ever made also used spinach, but with basil and, of all things, arugula! It gave it a wonderful peppery note. I’m inspired to try your method with cilantro, too.

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  4. nancyruth says:

    My basil plant is huge. Time to make pesto. Neat idea to use with quinoa!

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  5. […] via Walnut-Spinach Pesto on Quinoa! — Recipe in a Bottle […]

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  6. mmwelch says:

    Sounds fabulous! I’ll have to keep in mind this idea of making pesto out of anything.

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  7. Sounds delicious! Giving this a try 🙂

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