Today’s run: 5 hilly miles. Good stuff. More Elgar, too.
If you only make one vegan recipe in your entire life, this must be it. This is the best stuff EVER. Everyone I’ve fed it to loves it. I love it. My kids love it. It is fast, delicious, and super healthy. Plus it is cheaper than regular pesto. Plus it’s way better than regular pesto. Plus it’s healthier than regular pesto…which doesn’t matter nearly as much as the fact that it is INCREDIBLE and really can’t even be compared to regular pesto. Try it. Now. If you don’t have spinach go get some. Then get out yer immersion blender and prepare to be dazzled in deliciousness.
1/3 cup raw cashews (raw almonds also work) (use 1/2 cup if you want it super-rich)
1 clove garlic
1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt, to taste (I love salt and use close to 1 teaspoon but if you don’t love salt use less, duh)
1 whole bag of fresh baby spinach, 9 ounces
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to add for desire consistency and yumminess
Ready for the directions? This will take about 2-3 minutes, total. It will take more time to make the pasta than the sauce that goes over it.
Put the cashews and garlic in a bowl. Add about 1/3 of the bag of spinach. Add about 2 tablespoons of oil. Using your immersion blender (which, if you don’t have, you NEED, but a food processor or regular blender will also work….but seriously, immersion blenders are the bomb and you need one), blend away. You will have to work at it for a second or so, but soon the spinach will succumb to the awesome powers of the immersion blender. Once you have everything blended, add in the rest of the spinach bit by bit and blend it all together. Add at least one more tablespoon of oil as you are doing this; add more if you are having a hard time getting everything to blend (do NOT add water; that makes it all watery and runny and gross). I usually add about 3 or 4 tablespoons of oil total; more makes it creamier and yummier, but since I make this SO often I try to cut down on the cost by using fewer nuts and less oil. If you’re making this for a decadent feast, use more nuts and oil. Add salt at the end, to taste.
Serve over pasta. Drool.
A word about immersion blenders. If you don’t have one you should. They are awesome, quite literally. I got ours almost 11 years ago and use it almost daily, and it has withstood my over-use beautifully. Seriously, I use the crap out of this thing. I think it cost 20 bucks. I use it for everything- soups, baby food, pasta sauces, this sauce (duh), smoothes, chopping nuts and flaxseed, etc. etc. I hardly ever use our blender or food processor. They take up so much counter space and are such a pain to clean. The immersion blender takes up practically no space, has multiple attachments (most of which I don’t use, alas), and is super-easy to clean. Seriously, folks, this is the best investment you’ll make, unless you buy Facebook stock right now and it really does quadruple in use despite all indications to the contrary (eye roll).