Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Spinach and Chestnut Pesto

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)


Dawn said...

Yay samples! Love this recipe.

Kelly said...

This sounds like a great way to give a summertime spin to a normally wintery ingredient. I have to be honest and say I haven't really eaten very many chestnuts, but this sounds like a fun twist.

Joanne said...

Ooo how interesting! I would NOT have thought to use chestnuts in pesto. Good call!

Imogene said...

How great! Have you ever tried cashews in your pesto recipes? One summer I had so much cilantro in my garden that it seemed like i was making cilantro cashew pesto everyday. It became my go-to recipe for summer gatherings.

Ashlee said...

I've never tried cashews, but now I'm intrigued! I'm having so much fun trying out pestos with every herb and nut combo :) Thanks for the idea!

mangocheeks said...

So it is. Looks good. Anothe ingredient I would not have thought of putting in pesto - chestnuts. I love the way you think outside the box!