Thursday, July 16, 2009

Giada's Garden Pesto with Basil, Baby Spinach, Pine Nuts, and Parmesean


Pesto! Tell me that's not fun to say. Pesto! Look, I did it again! You should make this. Not only because it's fun to say, but also because it's fun to eat. And it tastes so good. It's good on noodles, it's good on sandwiches, it's good slathered over grilled chicken breasts, tossed into potato salad, blah blah blah. The options are endless. Also? It's easy. So please make today, because basil isn't always in season, but it sure is now!

This is a mish mash of two of Giada's recipes. I say it's a mishmash because I took one recipe off of one page, and a second recipe off another page... and I played mad scientist and made them into a singular outstanding fabulous recipe. I guess I'm just clever like that. Actually, I did it because I just bought two basil plants and I couldn't bear to harvest 2 cups from them on their first day home. I guess I'm sentimental like that.

Speaking of sentimental, baby! James! laughed! for! the! first! time! Now I understand why J. M. Barrie said that when the first baby laughed for the first time, it broke into a thousand little pieces and that's how faeries were born. Baby laughter is that precious.

Giada's Garden Pesto with Basil, Baby Spinach, Pine Nuts, and Parmesean

I used 1 cup of basil and 1 cup of spinach for this recipe, but you can use all of either if you want to. Both are great! (though my preference is for the basil). If you are going to put this on pasta, be sure to reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking liquid to mix in with the pesto and the noodles. It helps the sauce stick to the noodles.

1 cup basil (packed)
1 cup baby spinach (packed)
2 garlic cloves
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup grated parmesean cheese
3/4 cup good virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste


In a food processor, combine 1 cup (packed) basil leaves...

...with 1 cup (packed) baby spinach...

...2 garlic cloves...

...1/3 cup toasted pine nuts...

...and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Put the lid on your food processor...

... and pulse to combine, until everything is chopped up into little bits.

With the machine running, add 3/4 cup olive oil in a slow stream until mixture begins to emulsify and become liquid. Stop pouring at this point (they may be left over oil).



  1. I love Giada! I think I've actually watched her make this before and thought "How easy! Now I won't have to buy jarred pesto anymore!" Then I totally forgot about it! Thanks for reminding me!

  2. I'm going to make this right now to have on Duck egg omelettes! Delish!

  3. This sounds delicious. I recently started making my own pesto because it is just so easy. The addition of spinach is something that I never thought of, I will have to try it next time. Your pictures are great by the way :)

  4. I love your pics!!! And they make your pesto sssoooo yummy!

  5. I have pesto pasta today for lunch! Your pesto looks so vibrant and delicious.

  6. I need a pesto recipe for an AWESOME grilled pork roast recipe I've been wanting to make. Thanks!

  7. Just made the pesto using this recipe!! looks good! I also added quartered cherry tomatoes! Adds a little color to it! Thanks!!

  8. Hello boys ...
    The recipes in my opinion are worthy of kings who wonder. I like the information you have posted here in this beautiful blog. I find it really very important thanks for sharing. I love this blog.

  9. I just tried this recipe. Taste great with egg white omelette :d

  10. Hello, I made your recipe this past weekend, and it turned out great! I love the color especially. I blogged about it and posted a link to your recipe. Is that ok? I hope!

    Thanks for a great recipe. I will definitely make it again.

  11. I'm going to add in a little bit of garlic scapes because they are in season and I made garlic scape pesto 2 weeks ago. Sinful! Tonight's pesto will be added into a 'pesto stuffed steak'! Can't wait...

  12. I love pesto, but can I use another nut but pine nuts were $27 yesterday in the store!!!!?

    1. yes. I use pecans all the time.

  13. Hi Becks! I was browsing for awesome (and easy to make pesto recipes) and found yours most tempting. Especially when you have stories of little James fairy laughter in your writing, it kept me hooked! How old is he now? 4/5yo? I cant wait to try your awesome-mad-scientist recipe. Your blog is a keeper... TQ Becks! ~Muzaffar's Mom, Malaysia :)