spinach walnut pesto

This is a nice early fall dish — easy. It's really good with a crunchy salad that has a little bitterness, acid or spice (like cucumber salad with lemon and chili oil). Also really good with butternut squash pasta or grilled salmon. I started making this for my son as a break from noodles and cheese, so I've been making it a lot.

This pesto needs a generous hand with the salt and pepper. Course salt on the table is a good idea, it's easy to over- or under-season. Try not to put too in much spinach or it will lose its delicate flavour.

Spinach walnut pesto
serves 4 – 6


Cooked pasta

1 clove garlic (maybe more if serving to cool hippie children or adults)
3/4 cup walnuts
3 oz spinach (about 3 handfuls)
1/2 cup grated parmesan
3 – 4 Tablespoons olive oil
4 Tablespoons cold water
bunch fresh basil, stems removed
1/2 lemon:  juice + zest
1/2 teaspoon sea salt + more for the table


1. Toast the walnuts in a pan or the stove until they smell toasty. Set aside to cool.

2. Boil, drain and set aside pasta, reserving 1/2 cup water before draining.

3. Put everything else in a blender or food processor and let it blend until it is a very creamy paste. If you are serving to a picky little person make sure you give it an extra stir and an extra blend here or they will find a tiny piece of whole spinach and have a breakdown.

4. Toss together pasta, reserved water and pasta.

Unused pesto will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for a couple of days.

I like to put this on the table because it's something Auggie will eat and it has protein and vegetables in it. I also like it because it's a fast vegetarian dish which has protein and isn't just cheesy pasta. Leftovers go well with everything.