Last week Oh! Nuts graciously sent me some nuts to review on my blog. As I was browsing the website, I saw they carry chestnuts. I absolutely love chestnuts, and have done my fair share of roasting them at home. Though they taste amazing fresh roasted, it's so nice to get them peeled. I decided to select them, and then try to figure out a recipe to use them in later on.
Most often, they're found in Christmas-y or fall like recipes, so I had to do a bit of brainstorming. I was in the mood for a big bowl of pasta with loads of vegetables, so pesto seemed like the obvious choice. Since the chestnuts have a delicate flavor, I didn't want to overpower them with a strong tasting green, enter spinach! This pesto was delicious, almost creamy, and the chestnut flavor was present, but not overpowered or overpowering.
Spinach and Chestnut Pesto
4 cups packed baby spinach leaves
5 oz. roasted, peeled chestnuts
1 garlic clove, smashed
2 tbsp. Romano cheese
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp. EVOO
Salt and fresh black pepper
Add spinach to a food processor, pulse to chop well, about 15-20 times.
Add chestnuts, garlic clove and romano cheese, pulse to chop, about 15-20 times.
Add lemon juice, EVOO, salt and pepper, run the food processor for 30 seconds.
Season with salt and pepper, pulse a few times, taste and adjust seasonings.
Add more EVOO to reach desired consistency.
(I like my pesto very thick, tossed with pasta and a bit of reserved pasta water)