Still seeking to rid my freezer of orphaned ingredients, (the "theme" for my last dinner party,) this easy green salad, a favorite amongst my friends, popped into my mind. Perfect for barbecues, potlucks, buffets, or whatever. This time of year I'm getting bombarded with basil. I love throwing the leaves into a salad or using in all sorts of dishes and desserts, but still can't use them up fast enough in cooking so I am furiously making batches of pesto this time of year. Pesto is like summer in a jar to me. I can't stand to not have it in the house. The problem is, I still have some from the last time I was hoarding pesto and this irritates my man. He just doesn't agree that you can't have too much of it.
If you must, you can throw this together with store bought pesto but if you do, be sure to refresh it with a few tablespoons of lemon juice. Even though my pesto was homemade I still used it to refresh a batch I had made several months ago. In addition, I drizzled some over the finished dish to give it just a bit more tang. This salad just can't fail. This time around I skipped the pine nuts as I was already using them in something else that night. Try this as a bed on which to serve grilled or broiled salmon. You're welcome.
Pesto and Peas Salad
adapted from Ina Garten
- 2 1/2 cups baby spinach leaves
- 4 tablespoons pesto, recipe follows
- 2 T lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons pignolis, toasted - optional
- 1 T grated parmesan cheese
Cook the peas in a pot of boiling salted water for 1 minute. Immediately immerse the peas in a bowl of ice cold water, and drain when fully cooled.
To assemble, place the spinach leaves in a salad bowl. Sprinkle the peas over the spinach. Add the pesto and toss. Dust lightly with parmesan, toasted pine nuts, or both.
Note: To toast pignolis, place them in a dry saute pan and cook over medium heat for about 4 minutes, until evenly browned, tossing frequently.