A simple recipe for Spinach Salad, with home made basil pesto.

For the pesto dressing:
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup fresh pine nuts
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

For the salad:
2 cups baby spinach leaves, washed and trimmed
1/2 cup canned black olives, halved
1 small red bell pepper, cored and diced
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts
Fresh black pepper

How to
To make the pesto dressing: Place basil, nuts, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor and pulse until chopped. With the machine running, add olive oil in a stream. Thin the dressing with 2 Tbsp water, and set aside. (Can be made up to 3 days in advance.)

In a large mixing bowl, combine the spinach, olives, bell pepper and feta.

In a small dry nonstick frying pan, toast the pine nuts over low heat for 2-4 minutes, until the nuts are just starting to brown and become fragrant. Remove from heat, and add to the spinach mixture.

Toss the salad with just enough of the pesto dressing to moisten all of the ingredients without drowning them (you will have leftover dressing; refrigerate and use for another dish). Add fresh black pepper, to taste.

Serve at room temperature.

Recipe provided by The Perfect Pantry.
All text and photographs copyright Lydia Walshin 2006-2010 – licensed under Creative Commons.

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