In the spirit of continuing to rejoice in what I receive daily (rather than focusing on what I want or think I "need") I patched together a pesto recipe tonight for dinner that turned out quite well.
Rather than using the standard basil / parmesan / olive oil / pine nuts recipe, I improvised - this is what I had in my fridge, freezer and garden:
1/2 cup spinach
1/2 cup arugula
1 cup basil (you can fudge with these amounts; the goal is to get 2 cups of these greens)
1/4 c shredded Parmesan cheese
1/3 c olive oil
1/4 c walnuts (frankly, I like walnuts more than pine nuts in pesto - it makes it a little less rich)
3 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh rosemary (we have it growing outside - just strip the leaves off the stem)
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp parsley
The key to successful pesto, I have decided, is our nifty inversion blender, AKA the Cuisinart Smart Stick (lame name, great product). I could do an infomercial on this gizmo. My friend Claire Carey turned me on to this baby - it's awesome for smoothies, it's amazing for making soups creamy, it makes hummus in a snap, and it's my BFF when I'm making pesto. It's worth the investment. Use your Bed Bath & Beyond coupon and splurge. You won't regret it.
Place the greens in the cup of the blender and whip 'em up till they are finely chopped (about 3/4 cup at a time). Add 1/3 of the nuts and garlic, blend again. Then add 1/3 of the Parmesan cheese, then 1/3 of the olive oil. Scrape down the sides of the container, then repeat the "1/3" cycle again and again until the nuts, garlic, cheese and oil are mixed in.
Mix into cooked pasta, and garnish with fresh diced tomatoes and a bit more parmesan. Yummmmmmmm. I've made pesto in the past with kale, chard, even beet greens. Take some risks. Go crazy.