I am a snacker. I graze on foods throughout the day and find myself munching on little things here and there. Some people say this is a good thing. . that you just eat small portions throughout the day. When I was working in an office, it was kind of a disgusting habit because I would have half eaten things (like Luna bars or apples) sitting on my desk.
Someone said something to me one day and so I started wrapping them up in napkins. So at least the half eaten things would be covered. But everyone knew what they were.
Now that I am home full-time, it doesn’t matter if I leave food sitting around. But ironically, I don’t even do this anymore. Maybe it was because I was running from meeting to meeting and didn’t have time to finish my snack so I’d leave half of it on my desk.
Makes perfect sense to me.
My latest obsession is this pesto. Spinach pesto because you can buy fresh spinach all year round and it’s a little less expensive than basil. I also threw in some more greens that I had leftover from a salad bag. In fact, I always find myself making pesto when I have a lot of leftover greens. . it’s a great way to make sure nothing goes to waste!
And this time I used almonds because I didn’t want to spend $7 or $8 on pine nuts. I already had the sliced almonds in my pantry. You can also absolutely use walnuts!
But the one thing I did splurge on was the parmesan.
So I obviously live in Wisconsin now and have been exploring Wisconsin cheese. There’s this little, amazing cheese shop called Fromagination. “At Fromagination, cheese lives the way it was intended to by its maker: on the block or wheel. When it’s ready to be sampled, we respectfully let it rest for a while first at room temperature to allow its aroma and taste to fully awaken. And when it’s ready to be sold, we hand-cut a piece from a block that has been permitted to breathe, but not to dry out. At Fromagination, you don’t need to guess what’s behind the plastic. You can see it. You can smell it. You can taste it. You can learn its story.”
It was here that I tasted this Parmesan. Did you know Wisconsin leads in the production of award-winning Parmesan here in the United States?This award-winning Wisconsin Sartori Reserve SarVecchio Parmesan from Plymouth, Wisconsin “follows in the tradition of the greatest cheese of Italy. You’ll appreciate the mellow, caramel flavors and the crunchy crystal texture at the heart of Sartori Reserve SarVecchio Parmesan.” This parmesan is studded with crunchy calcium lactate crystals.
Aged for at least two years, this parmesan is like none I have ever tasted. . it was buttery, smooth and nutty. So good. Almost too good to put into this pesto because I wanted to just eat the entire thing.
But obviously, I made the pesto and loved it. If you have some fresh baby spinach in your fridge, you have to give this pesto a try!
- 2 to 3 cups packed fresh baby spinach
- 1 cup mixed greens or arugula or basil + fresh parsley
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic; whole or minced
- ¼ cup almonds
- 1/2 cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil + more if needed
- 1/4 cup freshly grated or chunks of Parmesan
- Kosher salt to taste
- crushed red pepper flakes if desired
- Combine the spinach, greens, parsley, garlic, and almonds in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly combined. Add the Parmesan cheese and pulse until well combined. Season with salt and add the crushed red pepper flakes if using and enjoy!