Friday, January 24, 2014

Pesto: Green and Nutty, Much Like Fashion

My understanding of pesto began only less than a year ago but lately, I've added to my expertise.

Like, apparently you can make pesto out of other types of greens besides basil. But I wouldn't know because for this recipe, I bought basil to add to the spinach since I just really like basil.

I'm always looking for ways to cut corners, so I discovered that instead of paying almost $3 for fresh basil, I can buy frozen basil for $1.98.

This evening I enjoyed the company of a girlfriend and I wasn't entirely sure how she would feel about pesto--especially pesto made with spinach. 


  • 1 pound(s) pasta
  • 2 tablespoon(s) roasted almonds
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon(s) lemon zest
  • 4 ounce(s) baby spinach (about 4 cups)
  • 2 tablespoon(s) grated pecorino or Parmesan
  • 3 tablespoon(s) olive oil
  •  Kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 pound(s) large peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 3/4 cup(s) dry white wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) crushed red pepper


  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
  2. Meanwhile, in a food processor, pulse the almonds, garlic and lemon zest until finely chopped. Add the spinach, pecorino, 2 Tbsp oil and 1/8 tsp each salt and pepper. Purée until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  3. Heat the remaining Tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the shrimp with 1/4 tsp salt and cook for 2 minutes. Turn the shrimp, add the wine and crushed red pepper to the skillet and simmer until the shrimp are opaque throughout, 2 minutes more.
  4. Add the pesto to the shrimp and toss to combine. Toss with the pasta, adding some of the reserved cooking water if the pasta seems dry.

 Basil is an excellent source of vitamin K and manganese; a very good source of copper, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids such as beta-carotene), and vitamin C; and a good source of calcium, iron, folate, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids.

If you have a wheat allergy realize that wheat-free pasta doesn't cook the same as regular pasta. Megan Lust is a lovely gluten-free blogger who recommends lots of water, olive oil, and salt. I've tried it--it totally works.

I bought an Ecco Domini Pinot Grigio to pair with dinner and I must say, the more frequently I purchase wines from other states at Kroger or Walmart, the greater contrast to the detriment of Washington and California wines. These last minute wine choices aren't terrible, but they are lacking in personality.

Ecco Domini smelled like bean farts to me, but had a slight citrus flavor. Not my favorite. But Ecco Domini Fashion Foundation awards aspiring designers every year. Among the 2014 recipients is Timo Weiland, a designer I find overly prices and extremely confusing with his Catholic school dresses and camo wallets for $13. I call it WTF couture

There there's this, which is just like a joke without a punchline.

Then there's this stuff, which is perfectly acceptable in a way that I can't afford or wear yellow.

What was I talking about again?

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