Sun-Dried Tomato and Spinach Pesto with Crostini
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Earlier this week, while flipping through Danielle Kartes’s new book, Rustic Joyful Food: My Heart’s Table, I spotted a recipe I hoped might put to use the half jar of sun-dried tomatoes sitting in my fridge.
The recipe was for a pesto, something Danielle says she smears over “bread or fish or uses as an accompaniment to Brie and cured olives.” It called for many of the usual pesto players: garlic, nuts, parmesan, olive oil, and fresh lemon.
But what struck me about the recipe was the absence of herbs. In their place, Danielle uses spinach. How interesting? I thought. A winter pesto made with pantry ingredients and easy-to-find, low-maintenance spinach—how nice?
I made the pesto that evening as well as some focaccia crostini to serve alongside. Friends, it was irresistible. I had a hard time not polishing off the entire bowl.
I had made the pesto with the intention of clearing out the fridge, but several days later, I found myself opening a new jar of sun-dried tomatoes to make another batch of pesto. Twice this week, between running around getting the kids to hockey practice and trying to prepare for the holidays, this pesto crostini aside soft-boiled eggs or various leftovers scrounged from the fridge became dinner.
I’m not suggesting you make pesto for dinner, but I do think you should make this sometime soon — it’s perfect for holiday entertaining as it takes no time to blitz together. Serve it with crackers or crostini (directions below), or as part of any spread of holiday appetizers you may find yourself assembling in the weeks to come.
PPS: How to Assemble a Cheese Board
Here’s the play-by-play: Gather your ingredients.
Heap them all, with the exception of the olive oil, into a food processor.
Pulse until everything is finely chopped, but not puréed.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl, and stir in the olive oil.
Store in the fridge or serve immediately with…
… toasty bread! Slice up day-old bread, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with sea salt. (This is focaccia.)
Bake at 450ºF for 7- 10 minutes or until golden.
Smear the sun-dried tomato pesto over top…
… or serve alongside.
Sun-Dried Tomato and Spinach Pesto
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 1 cup
From Danielle Kartes’s Rustic Joyful Food: My Heart’s Table
for the pesto:
- 1/4 cup almonds
- 1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
- 3/4 cup (1.5 – 2 oz) Parmigiano Regiano, grated or coarsely chopped
- 3 cups (2.5 –3 oz) spinach
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon, plus more to taste
- fresh cracked pepper to taste
- sea salt to taste
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup olive oil
for the crostini:
- day- or days-old bread, sliced thinly
- olive oil
- sea salt
- To make the pesto: Place the almonds, sun-dried tomatoes, parmesan, spinach, garlic, and 2 tablespoons lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor. Season with pepper to taste and a few pinches sea salt.
- Pulse 10 to 15 times until the mixture is finely chopped but not completely puréed. Scrape down the processor and pulse again if necessary. Transfer contents to a bowl.
- Stir half a cup of olive oil into the mixture. Taste. Add more olive oil, lemon, salt, and pepper to taste. Store in a jar in the fridge for up to a week.
- To make the crostini: Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Place the thinly sliced bread on a sheet pan. Drizzle lightly all over with olive oil. Season lightly with sea salt. Transfer pan to the oven and toast for 7 to 10 minutes or until golden.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Spread
- Method: Food Processor
- Cuisine: American/Italian
Keywords: almond, pesto, spinach, sun-dried tomato, garlic, lemon, olive oil, appetizer
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
22 Comments on “Sun-Dried Tomato and Spinach Pesto with Crostini”
Wow…you know what I love about this…it is great for winter when you may not be able to find good fresh basil. I actually just used up my jar of sun dried tomatoes by using this recipe from Half baked harvest FYI …in case you want to try it….it is called one skillet creamy sun-dried tomato chicken and orzo…and I used up my sun-dried tomatoes, some cream and orzo….and I used skinless boneless chicken thighs. It was so delicious. I can’t wait to try this pesto as it is the holidays and….will be a perfect appetizer. How timely and how thankful I am. I will come back and rate this when I make the pesto.
I know, right?! Karen, I totally agree … basil is so hard to find in the winter, and when you do, it can cost a fortune. I’m totally going to look up that recipe. Thanks for sharing. Happy happy holidays to you!!
Could you use thawed out frozen spinach? Just a thought, sometimes if you shop late afternoon the fresh has already gone & staff will not restock shelves!
I don’t see why not!
Love this site!!
Hey hey hey Franny!!
Love your site.
Love your breads!!
I have made this pesto three times using part arugula /spinach and pepitas and it is so delicious 😋
Oh yay! So happy to hear this, Lisa … I love this one, too 🙂
Such a delicious way to use up a lot of greens. I make variations of this, with more spinach than in the written recipe, to use on lentil pastas to take on our hikes. I find the addition of cheese to be unnecessary with so much going on between the nuts, oil, citrus and sundried tomatoes, though still tasty.
So great to hear this, Nisha! I can’t wait to make this without the cheese. So nice to know, too, that this is a good option for anyone needing to make it dairy-free.
Oh my, oh my! I made this for the first time today and can’t tell you how delicious it is! I am not typically a fan of pesto, but this recipe grabbed my attention and I decided to give it a try. It is so good that I immediately made up a second batch before cleaning up and putting everything away! For those of you who have browsed and said that it looks good, don’t hesitate any longer. This is a wonderful recipe and will be perfect for gifting to dear ones over the Christmas season. My recommendation is that you don’t change a thing in the recipe, make it just as written. Thank you, Ali, for this wonderful keeper!
Oh Phyllis, Yay! Wonderful to hear this. I love this one this time of year, too, and you are so right: it’s such a nice gift. Have a Merry Merry Christmas! Thanks for writing.
Made as written and it was delicious. It is a keeper and very versatile!
Wonderful to hear this, Jennifer! Thanks for writing.
Delicious. Kids loving it on crackers after school. First batch demoed in one sitting!
Yay! So great to hear this, Nicky 🙂 🙂 🙂
Wow, love this. I’ve made it three times now. I’m getting a little lazy about its measurements. I dump the ingredients–eyeballing the amounts– into the food processor and give it a whirl, and each time it’s delicious. This is my new favorite way to use spinach that has been in the refrigerator slightly too long. This pesto, slathered heavily onto a toasted piece of your peasant bread, is perfect. I even feel a little virtuous while devouring it because I’m snacking on GREENS. Thanks, Ali!
Oh I love this, Launa! And I know: greens loaded pesto is the best feeling 🙂 🙂 🙂 Thanks for writing.
This is so good. I had a big bag of spinach from Costco so I was looking for ways to use it up. This recipe is a keeper. I did not have almonds so I used walnuts. I dry cherry tomatoes from the garden in the summer and rehydrated them with hot water. We have been putting this on everything…rice, eggs, chicken sandwiches, bread. It is so versatile and good.
So great to hear this, Jen! And wow: your own dried cherry tomatoes?? I’m so impressed and envious. Delicious!
could frozen spinach (after defrosting and squeezing) be used?
I imagine! Go for it 🙂