Now that spring in Chicago has (finally) officially started to sprong — not a word, I know — I’ve found myself happiliy recycling some of my favorite recipes using seasonal produce. This past weekend, I made my first farmer’s market trip of the season and found myself inspired by the ginormous piles of freshly picked asparagus and bursting bags of spinach. Of course, in quantities that size its nice to have a go-to recipe for using up all those green things.
And while I’m all for trying new things, in some cases, tried and true recipes really are worth revisiting, even if they don’t make for the most revolutionary blog fodder. So, today we’re taking a trip down memory lane to pay homage to one of my absolute favorite, easy, healthy, yummy, springy recipes — Asparagus and Spinach Pesto.
This recipe is a great way to use up all that lovely spring produce in a fun, expected way. The pesto sauce is bursting with flavor but it doesn’t necessarily scream “Ha! You’re Eating SPINACH!” which is nice if you’ve got a giant bag of the stuff in your fridge and your husband/roommate/children/friends are utterly sick of the stuff. Plus it freezes well which will make your life alot easier on some weeknight in your future. Just thaw and mix with hot pasta.
The original recipe, which is here, is pretty adaptable. You can substitute fresh basil for some or all of the spinach or asparagus if you’d like (and if your supermarket is like mine, they’ve probably started selling fresh basil in massive plastic tubs that cannot possibly be finished before they go bad unless you use them to make pesto so you’ll thank me for that). Similarly, if you’re running low on pine nuts, sub in some toasted almonds instead. Basically, just keep shoving stuff in your food processor until it seems “right” (techinical, I know).
I hope you’re all enjoying the return of the sun, the farmer’s markets and the prospect of summer as much as I am. With that in mind, I’ve got an action-packed schedule over the next few days with a book club night out and weekend travels, so please accept my early wishes for a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend!