Thursday, April 3, 2008

Spring Spinach Walnut Pesto (Gluten Free)

I was working at a daycare in college when I first discovered pesto! Yes, a daycare.

One of the daycare teachers was making fresh pasta with her kids and on top of the pasta she swirled on this lovely spring green sauce. I had to have some. It was so fresh and delicious! I'm not sure how much the 3 year olds enjoyed it... but hey.. you have to start somewhere right?

Last October, Natalie, of Gluten Free Mommy had a great post on her cilantro pesto grilled cheese sandwiches. They looked delicious and I was truly intrigued with the idea of using pesto on a sandwich!

I came up with this wonderful spinach walnut pesto because fresh basil and pinenuts just don't seem to be stocked at the local piggly wiggly... and with gas prices the way they are (and the fact that we are truly trying to budget)... you learn to work with what you have... and this simple fresh pesto is fantastic!!

I love the bright spring green color, and the warm, fresh flavors of the garlic, olive oil, spinach, and walnuts. These flavors work together beautifully in this pesto, which is even better the day after it is made. Even my sweet, but ever picky husband enjoyed this pesto on our grilled turkey and monteray jack sandwiches last night! "Baby, it was darn good!" (That's a true compliment coming from my sweetie folks!)

You will have to come back tomorrow for the awesome sandwich/deli bread recipe that we used for these sandwiches. If you miss Schlotzsky's sandwiches, you will be LOVING this versatile gluten free flat bread!!

This particular pesto is more like a thick pesto sauce, rather than a chunky pesto. It is divine paired with the melted monteray jack and our deli-style gluten free sandwich bread! You'll love it!

Spring Spinach Walnut Pesto

3-4 cups fresh spinach leaves
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup walnut pieces
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (juice from 1 med. lemon)
dash freshly grated nutmeg
Salt/Pepper to taste

Add all ingredients to a blender. Pulse mixture until it is has a smooth creamy consistency. Serve with hot pasta, on cheesy sandwiches, over a salad, etc... Have fun and enjoy! Will keep in fridge for up to one week. Makes about 2 cups of fresh pesto.

For a printer friendly version, click here.


Make sure to come back tomorrow to learn how to make that
fantastic deli-style gluten free sandwich/flat bread!

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  1. That sandwich looks so good! I'm glad you are going to be posting that bread recipe - it really does look like something you'd pay a lot of money for in a deli. :)


  2. Karen -- Thank you! It was SO good! I brought extra for lunch today and I can't wait! The bread was actually sort of experimental and I wasn't sure how it would turn out, but oh... it's wonderful!! We're using it tonight for a pizza base, so I can test the recipe again...but I am SO excited about it!!

  3. Ooh, how yummy does that look! I'm addicted to fresh herbs but the color from the spinach is GOR-geous!


  4. Sea -- Thank you!! The pictures just don't do this pesto justice! I have awful lighting in my kitchen!! But it is was so pretty and "springy", not to mention delicious!!! Thanks for commenting girl!!

  5. Oh, my grandma had those plates. Thanks for the memory. :)

    You know, I don't think I've ever had pesto. It looks pretty, though, and that sandwich does look good.

  6. Cassandra -- Those ARE my grandmother's plates!!! lol Michael thinks they are hideous, but I love them because they remind me of her!! The sandwich is very good!!

  7. This looks delicious. I love making pestos with all kinds of things. I'll have to try this as I love spinach and walnuts.

    Sheltie Girl @ Gluten A Go Go

  8. Carrie! This looks fabulous! You can't beat pesto on a sandwich, especially one as yummy as this one.

  9. Those kids are lucky - trying pesto at such a young age!
    This looks delicious, Carrie. As a pesto fan, I'll have to give it a go.

  10. Oh, yum. Pesto in a grilled cheese? Why haven't I thought of that??

  11. oh that sounds lovely and I'm not keen on pinenuts so a replacement is a great idea and basil is not really about round here yet, though I hope to grow some this year.