I love pesto, but I hate shopping for pine nuts. Sometimes, they can be hard to find and slightly prohibitively expensive. I also love honey roasted peanuts. I LOVE pesto. I am a huge fan of anything with honey and lemons. Did I mention that I LOVE pesto? The smell of fresh basil and crushed garlic in the kitchen gets me charged to start cooking. It’s like a green light for pesto. Oh yeah, I LOVE pesto, just in case you forgot. Greenery and peanuts are a winning combination. I think you already know what’s coming. Pesto is life. Let’s get started…
- 1 cup (8 oz) Honey roasted peanuts, crushed with a mortar and pestle. You can use a food processor if you like – but you won’t get the same stress relief.
- 2 tablespoons (1.0 fl. oz) honey
- 3 ounces fresh basil, finely chopped. Use a scale to measure this if you need to.
- 1 ounce freshly chopped rosemary
- Juice and zest of large lemon
- 5 cloves (more if desired) garlic, finely minced
- 2 cups (16 oz) olive oil (preferably Spanish
- 16 oz of fresh (NOT FROZEN) baby spinach, finely chopped and dried in oven at 450 degrees Fahrenheit (232 degrees Celsius)
- 1 teaspoon (0.17 oz) red pepper flakes
- 4 oz (measure with scale if you’re not sure) freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (for best results, grate the cheese yourself with a Microplane)
- Before you do anything else with your ingredients- make sure that your spinach is completely dried out after chopping. Chop very finely, with a vegetable cleaver, on the largest wooden cutting board in your house.
- Mix all ingredients, in order as listed, in a large refrigerator-safe bowl (preferably with a lid for overnight refrigeration) You can place them in a food processor, if you’re pressed for time. However, you’ll get great results with a whisk (and it’s more fun that way, in my humble opinion)
For even more depth of flavor, you can opt to toast the peanuts before you pound them in the mortar.
This should last a week in the refrigerator if properly covered. I doubt very seriously that it will last that long, as the fragrance will tempt you to pull it out and start cooking…