ORIGINAL RECIPE: If you've been following my blog, you know how much I love pasta AND pesto. Well, today's no different. Here's a veggie-friendly (& vegan friendly!) nut-free pesto recipe that has a very subtle kick to it... but you can fire it up (or cool it down) as you please. It tastes great with any pasta, especially my favorite: Trader Joe's Spinach & Chive Linguine! So read on and start cookin'!
Coat a pan with EV Olive Oil and turn up the heat to low simmer. Peel and chop some garlic, toss it in the pan to flavor the oil. Then grab some veggies... red, yellow, and green bell peppers, asparagus, onion... and add them to the pan, stirring occasionally until they're soft. Salt and pepper to taste.
While your veggies simmer, wash and shred some spinach with your hands. Take out your food processor and pack the spinach loosely. Then, peel and chop two cloves of garlic and drop them in with the spinach. Do the same with two jalapeño peppers (you can use just one to decrease the kick or three if you've got a stomach of steel). Here's where you can boost the kick with a splash of hot sauce (or not). Salt & pepper to taste.
Blend, Chop, & Grind in your Food Processor!
Taste-test! You should gradually work up the heat instead of "guesstimating" how much your taste buds can handle. The same goes for the salt. Add everything in moderation and work your way up to perfection!
Pour your EVOO & Veggies into the food processor and blend until they are unidentifiable.
Taste-test, of course. Add whatever you need or leave it if you think it's delish so far!
Grab a cup and fill it with a few scoops of country crock (earth balance or regular butter are fine, too) and add some broccoli to the cup... then, put it in the microwave just long enough for the "butter" to melt.
Carefully, carefully, carefully! pour the melted "butter" and broccoli into the food processor.
Blend until thoroughly integrated! (NOTE: If your pesto appears "loose" just add more broccoli! That's what I ended up doing and it turned out even more delicious!)
Blend, blend, blend! Chop! Grind! Put your food processor to work! Then TASTE!
Throw it over some pasta... that you happened to be cooking in excited anticipation. Gently toss.
Plate and garnish with chia seeds and maybe some parmesan or "cheese" of your choosing.