I am currently house-sitting for someone at work, and theirs is a huge old house on a tree-lined street near Forest Park. The house has lots of space and best of all, a professional kitchen. Another unexpected amenity has been the free reign over the herb garden in the backyard, including three huge basil plants (the size of which I have never experienced, since plants typically die shortly after coming into my care). Well, since the plants are outside and will die soon anyway, I decided to "harvest" the basil plants and make myself some pesto. A friend of mine mentioned that adding spinach will enhance the flavor and color of the pesto, so I decided to try it. This turned out to be not quite the traditional pesto sauce, but a delicious one nonetheless.
Spinach Basil Pesto
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup fresh or frozen spinach
1/3 - 1/2 cup olive oil (adjust according to your taste and the consistency)
5-8 whole cloves of garlic, according to taste
1/2 cup pine nuts (or more, according to taste)
1/4 cup blanched slivered almonds
1/4 - 1/2 cup Vegan "Parmesan Cheese" (or real Parmesan cheese if you can have it)
Salt and pepper to taste
Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until a thick paste is formed and becomes creamy. Adjust ingredients to taste. Makes about 1 1/2 - 2 cups of pesto. Boil pasta and drain, then add the pesto to the pasta, toss, top with more Parmesan cheese, if desired, and serve!