MADE IN MINUTES – Spinach Pesto

This week in the UK it is National Vegetarian Week .  A week to promote inspirational vegetarian food and the benefits  of a meat-free lifestyle.   Although I love my meat I have never been one to eat it with every meal.  Most weeks we may only eat 2-3 meals which include meat. I think its good for the whole family to be able to enjoy delicious vegetarian meals as well as the typical meat and 3 veg!

So for this weeks Made in Minutes I have made Spinach Pesto. Pesto pasta is a staple for my kids when I only have a few minutes to through their dinner together, its so easy to make pesto, you’ll always find a fresh pot in my fridge.

Last time I was making pesto, the fridge was a little empty and I hadn’t had a chance to buy fresh basil.  I did however have a bag of baby spinach leaves..
It got me thinking, I’ve seen rocket pesto, and watercress pesto, why not try a more kid friendly version ( my boys say that the pesto gets ‘spicy’ when I make it with those leaves) and try a spinach pesto.  Another of my usual changes to pesto is throwing in whichever nuts I have on hand.. this time it was cashew nuts, they are good as they seem to add an extra creaminess.
I also love using pesto for my lunches, its quick and delicious, with hummus or spread on its own, with tomato or grilled haloumi.  Here you’ll see I’ve had it on sourdough toast with slow roasted tomatoes and shaved parmesan.  A quick, easy and very tasty vegetarian lunch!

Incidentally, the spinach pesto seemed to go down nicely with the kids…actually I’m not sure they knew there was a difference and they gobbled up their pasta as usual!

So, heres my pesto recipe:

150g Baby spinach leaves
2 cloves of roasted garlic ( TIP – sometimes raw garlic can be a little to strong in pesto, roasting the garlic first gives it a delicious sweetness)
50g cashew nuts
30g parmesan cheese, grated
120ml olive oil (start with 100ml and add more as wiping down the sides of the food processor so that you get to your desired texture).
Salt and Pepper  ( if you like)

So easy, just throw it all in a food processor and whiz until smooth, wipe  down sides of the food processor, add more olive oil and seasoning as need  and whiz once more.  In an airtight container your pesto will stay fresh in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.

Seen as its vegetarian week why not try and make one of your main meals this week a vegetarian one.  Visit your local growers market or whole food shop and get inspired by some of the gorgeous seasonal veg available, I’m thinking an nice spring salad might be nice, I’ll let you know what I decide…please let us know what you make, we’d love to know.





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