There is never a week that I do not have a big jar of homemade pesto in my fridge. It may vary from traditional basil pesto, tomato pesto to spinach pesto. I usually use what I have to hand. If I have lots of fresh spinach left in the fridge, I will use that. If I have cashew nuts instead of pine nuts, I will use them. I really dislike waste so whatever needs to be used up, goes into the pesto.
What I love about pesto is how easy it is and how good it can be. There are so many different ways to make it, it is just so versatile. Pesto adds huge flavour to almost any dish and can add bags of flavour from simple salads to pasta dishes, sandwiches, soups and all the way to grazing boards.
I have gotten rather fond of cashew nuts recently and bought a load of them in Lidl before the last lockdown. Cashew nuts add such a creaminess to this pesto. I usually love using pine nuts but actually by using cashew nuts, the flavour of the spinach actually stands out more.
This pesto takes 5 minutes to put together and lasts for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.
SPINACH AND CASHEW NUT PESTO
- 60 g fresh spinach leaves
- 30 g grated Parmesan cheese
- 60 g cashew nuts
- 60 ml olive oil, plus a little extra.
- juice of half a lemon
- 2 good sized garlic cloves
Heat the oven to 200°C (fan oven). When hot, place the cashew nuts on a tray and toast them. This literally takes 2 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.
Place the spinach, cashew nuts, garlic, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, olive oil and a few grinds of black pepper to a processor. I have a small mini chopper/blender and I cram it all in because I am too lazy to wash up the big one.
Blend until no large chunks exist. The consistency is really up to you, some like it chunky, some super smooth.
Place in an air tight container/jar and drizzle with a little extra oil if you plan on keeping it in the fridge for 2 weeks or so. The layer of oil on tops helps seal it from any air.