Summer produce is plentiful right now and eating seasonally couldn’t be easier or more delicious. The greens are abundant and making pesto is one of the best ways to use up all that spinach!
Oh, July! You slay me with your bountiful offerings. So much seasonal produce to choose from for this month’s eat seasonal recipe. Corn, greens, potatoes, cherries, berries, cucumbers, fresh herbs…how can I choose my favorite? We’ve been visiting our weekly farmers market and local farm stand multiple times a week and letting what’s available dictate our menu. We’ve been enjoying gorgeous greens as the base of our lunches and dinner has been grilled chicken or fish with a healthy side of grilled veggies and/or another big salad. Dessert is a bowl of cherries with a hunk of dark chocolate or fresh berries over homemade vanilla bean ice cream. It’s safe to say we’ve been eating really well the past few weeks!
I found myself with a ton of spinach week before last. A good friend of mine runs an organic farm, Copper Moose Farm, just around the corner from our house. Anytime Daisy finds her self with an excess of produce, she’s kind enough to email me and ask if I can use it. My answer is always a definitive yes. I came home with so much spinach that even after using it in smoothies and a few big salads, I still had a ton. Not wanting it to go to waste, I decided to make pesto. If you haven’t had spinach pesto before, I implore you to change that asap. It’s less assertive than traditional basil pesto and in my opinion, more versatile. In other words, it’s the bomb.
I first had spinach pesto this winter when my son ordered a turkey panini from this awesome Italian cafe in our hometown. I was smitten immediately. The spinach is mellow, slightly sweet and the vibrant green is a welcome addition on just about anything. I’ve been tossing the pesto with pasta (I have an amazing summer pasta salad to share with you later this week) and the spinach pesto is equally amazing mixed into scrambled eggs or slathered on a sandwich or bagel. When the tomatoes make their appearance next month, you can be sure I’ll using this to make bruschetta and in a vinaigrette to drizzle over fresh tomato salads.
Because the spinach is so mellow, you could play around with the recipe and easily add some fresh dill or maybe some cilantro or thyme to the pesto to change the flavor profile. I like to think of this recipe as a blank slate. More garlic, no garlic…add some scallions or a touch of chili flakes…. You get the idea. This recipe has infinite possibilities and is easy to make your own. Recipes like this- simple, simple- become quick favorites in my house as I find a million and one ways to use them. Can you tell I like this recipe?
As much as I’m gushing over the spinach pesto, I hope you’ll take a minute or two to peruse all the other gorgeous recipe contributions to this month’s Eat Seasonal offerings. A gigantic thank you to our host and fearless leader, Becky from The Vintage Mixer, as her passion for local and seasonal fare are contagious and have surely changed the way I think about eating. Thanks, Becky! Happy Monday to all of you and as always, thanks for reading. xo, Kelley
JULY’S EAT SEASONAL RECIPES:
Quick Pickled Strawberries with Black Pepper and Tarragon by Simple Bites
Pea and Arugula Pesto by Floating Kitchen
Creamy Grilled Corn Pasta by Completely Delicious
Chocolate Strawberry Protein Smoothie by The Lemon Bowl
Crispy Chicken & Cucumber Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette by Climbing Grier Mountain
Healthy Zucchini Muffins by Gimme Some Oven
Fresh Corn Salad by Bless this Mess
Apricot Glazed Chicken by Vintage Mixer
Spinach Pesto by Mountain Mama Cooks
Papaya Seed Vinaigrette Dressing by Kitchen Confidante
Baked Zucchini Fries with Pesto Yogurt Dipping Sauce by Cookin’ Canuck
Peach Salad with Grilled Chicken and Raspberries by Well Plated
Poached Beets with Star Anise and Cinnamon by Project Domestication
Strawberry Fields Panzanella Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette by Flavor the Moments
Grilled Flatbread with Peaches and Arugula Pesto by Foodie Crush
- 3 cups lightly packed spinach leaves
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 clove garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- In the base of a food processor, combine spinach, pine nuts, lemon juice and minced garlic. Pulse ingredients until spinach is chopped and ingredients are combined. With the machine running, add olive oil and mix until pesto is creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste.