Spinach Pesto Risotto

I don’t think I have EVER made pesto the normal way.

You know- with basil, pine nuts, garlic, parmesan, and olive oil. The only other pesto post I have is for pea pesto. Incidentally that is delicious stuff. Also wow. That post was so so so long ago it seems.

Spinach Pesto Risotto

Aaaanyways. For so many reasons I have not made traditional pesto. Chief of which is pine nuts. My husband and I are at complete odds about them. I’m pretty indifferent about them and for the price point I can’t justify them. Nathan on the other hand loves them and dislikes my attitude towards these spendy buggers. Until we win the lottery I will keep subbing walnuts in for the pine nuts.

Also I love veggies. The idea of pureeing veggies with tasty basil, garlic, cheese, and olive oil entices me. And then you can put it on things. Bread, pasta, more veggies, and yes even risotto.

As much as I love and have made risotto it has never occurred to me to stir in basil. Perusing Pinterest like you do one day I stumbled on spinach risotto. Done. Pinned and planned.

Spinach Pesto Risotto

Or maybe not. It took a few weeks for it make it on the menu. I happily had the privilege of making it for my family one Sunday. They all absolutely loved it. Even Little. He will scarf this stuff down like it is going out of style.

The very best part about this recipe? It makes a bunch of pesto. Enough for two batches of risotto for us. Plus it is a great way to get loads of veggies in a toddler. Because currently that is on the long list of things that keeps me up at night and watching him chow down on this warms my heart.

Hey you do what you gotta do sometimes.

IMG_1646Spinach Pesto Risotto

One year ago today: Beef with Barley Stew 

Spinach Pesto Risotto (
From Food Recipe HQ

For the pesto:
2 cups fresh spinach leaves, stemmed and washed
1/4 cup walnuts
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Risotto
4 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons butter
1 finely chopped onion
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

Make the pesto: Place all ingredients into you food processor and blend until you get the desired consistency.

Make the risotto: Place the stock in a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Keep at a simmer while cooking the risotto. In a large, heavy saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until tender but not brown, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat with the butter cooking for 2-3 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until the wine has almost completely evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of simmering broth and stir until almost completely absorbed. Continue cooking the rice, adding the broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition of broth to absorb before adding the next, until the rice is tender but still firm to the bite and the mixture is creamy, about 20 minutes total. Remove from the heat. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, as much pesto as you want, the remaining tablespoon of butter, and salt and pepper to taste.

Spinach Pesto Risotto

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