by Roberta L. Duyff, MS, RDN, FAND, CFCS
Whether eaten as a dip, a spread or a sauce, savory
pesto is a culinary essential in many Italian recipes. This version features spinach and almonds (more
economical than the traditional basil and pine nuts), yet as flavorful and
nourishing as ever. Deliciously simple
to prepare, spread spinach-almond pesto over crusty bread for an easy
appetizer, toss with your favorite pasta for a light meal, or spoon it over
grilled or broiled seafood or roasted chicken breast for a heartier meal.
8 ounces baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted*
1 shallot, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
- In a food processor or blender
jar combine the spinach, almonds, shallot, garlic, lemon juice, lemon peel
and red pepper flakes. Pulse
lightly to blend. Gradually add the
oil, blending until well chopped and blended, but not puréed.
- Transfer the spinach-almond
mixture to a medium bowl.
- Stir in the Parmesan cheese.
- Toast the almonds in a small,
heavy dry skillet over medium heat, shaking the skillet frequently for 1
to 2 minutes until golden brown to release the flavorful oils.
(Serving size: 2 tablespoon)
Calories: 100; Calories from fat: 90; Total fat: 9g;
Saturated fat: 1.5; Trans fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 60mg; Total
carbohydrate: 4g; Dietary fiber: 2g; Sugars: 1g; Protein: 4g