I was predicting for about a week now that it was time to pull the Spinach from the garden. With warmer weather coming it was starting to bolt and create flowers- a sure sign that it's time is done. But that didn't mean throwing it all into the Compost heap- there were plenty of fresh leaves left to be harvested from the plants. This also means finding something new to plant in it's place to keep the cycle moving.
I already had several batches of blanched spinach in the freezer so I decided to make a vegan Pesto sauce that can be frozen and used months from now, or even this Winter when things aren't so fresh.
You will Need:
About 6 cups loosely packed rinsed and torn spinach leaves
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Sunflower Seeds
1 TSP Kosher salt
3-4 Large Cloves of garlic
Rinse your spinach leaves and leave on a paper towel to soak up extra moisture. During this, heat a saucepan on the stove over a medium high heat and DRY toast the sunflower seeds stirring frequently. They will begin to pop and sizzle. Remove from heat when they are starting to brown.
In a Food Processor, pulse the spinach leaves until finely chopped. Add the raw garlic and seeds. Pulse a few more times.
Slowly drizzle the olive oil into the processor while it's pulsing. You will quickly get a paste. Add the salt and pulse a few more times to mix in well.
Since this is a raw pesto it will keep in the refrigerator for about a week. I prefer to freeze them first in small plastic containers. Once frozen you can pop them out and freeze in a larger bag. This will give you single serving sizes for use anytime, and also reduce a lot of waste by defrosting more than you planned on using.
I know that this Winter these will be a great fresh taste reminding us of Spring. Since all of the ingredients were on hand and the spinach home grown the cost per serving on these was certainly a lot less than store bought pesto (And it contains as many ingredients as you have fingers on one hand). You can't beat that for fresh and healthy.