You guys know that I like pesto right? Are you sure? Ok. Because if you don’t already know, I’ll be glad to tell you again. I love it. I mentioned last week, when I posted my recipe for Smoked Turkey Pesto Pasta Salad, that I would share my recipe for my favorite pesto sauce, spinach basil pesto, and now I am. It really is my favorite. It’s my favorite because it’s the best. It’s the best because it’s adding the spinach makes the basil go a lot farther, and basil can be expensive. Even when I grow my own, there’s never enough.
This recipe makes it easy for you to enjoy any of your favorite pesto-based meals for a lot cheaper. It’s a 2:1 ratio of spinach to basil, so whatever you make will be extra green. I also opted to skip the pine nuts – although you’re more than welcome to use them yourself if you want – and I went for sliced almonds this time. In the past, I’ve used walnuts and even mixed cocktail nuts in a pinch. You really can’t go wrong, but I would steer clear of straight up peanuts since the flavor is so overwhelming.
It’s nothing new, but I’m on a bit of a pesto kick again. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen the pesto fries I had the other night, followed by a pizza that was topped with pesto, goat cheese and caramelized onions. I also made spinach basil pesto at home (recipe to come), and treated myself to a big heaping bowl of pesto penne. But, there’s just one of me, and I ended up having quite a bit of pesto sauce left to be used.
Rather than using it for just plain old pasta, I thought I would do something different with it. Channeling warmer weather, changing seasons and sunshine, I thought a salad was in order. So I made smoked turkey pesto pasta salad. It was inspired by a pasta salad that was on the menu of a restaurant where I used to work – one of my favorites to have on my lunch break. The addition of the smoked turkey is, in my opinion, so unique, and the salad itself requires very little chopping. I even tossed in a few handfuls of arugula for some extra green.