I have come up with my very own fabulous frugal food tip! I made a pesto recipe out of a wilted spinach salad. I think it is a rather brilliant way to stretch the delicious spinach salad recipe with strawberries, goat cheese and candied walnuts into another dish. Bruschetta!
I was so disappointed when I went to the refrigerator to get some left over salad for lunch and realized that I had dressed all of the spinach the night before and now, it was wilted. The spinach, goat cheese and strawberry combo from the day before (don't forget the walnuts) sounded so good to me that I just had to figure out a way to finish them off. I decided that if pesto is made by just chopping up basil and smothering it in oil anyway, why not start out with spinach that was dressed in olive oil already?
It worked out really well and the little bit of balsamic vinegar from the original vinaigrette gave the pesto a tiny bit of sweetness and just a little tang. I stretched the remaining goat cheese, strawberries and walnuts by putting them on a sliced baguette and drizzling them with the pesto.
The thing to watch for when using the "all ready been dressed" spinach is, of coarse, the type of dressing used in the first place. I can't quite picture pesto made with ranch or thousand island dressing. Also, taste for salt and garlic levels as you go along; you might want to hold back on some of these ingredients to start out. You can always add more if needed.
Wilted Spinach Salad Pesto
2 ½ cups leftover spinach greens
3 cloves garlic
¼ cup walnuts, toasted
½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly cracked
½ to ⅔ cups olive oil
½ pint strawberries
3 oz creamy goat cheese
Put spinach, garlic, walnuts, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times. Drizzle olive oil into food processor while pulsing until you reach the desired consistency.
Slice baguette into ½ inch slices and toast lightly. Top baguette slices with quartered strawberries and goat cheese. Drizzle with pesto.
I love to make pesto with unusual ingredients. It's a great way to top sandwiches, pastas or cheesy dips. I'm inspired by these creative pestos:
Artichoke and Hazelnut Pesto Spread- Cookin' Canuck
Roasted Squash with Coriander Pesto-Fuss Free Cooking
Frugal version of Mario Batali's Brocoli Rabe Pesto- Fab Frugal Food
Delicious Ramp Pesto-Sarah's Cucina Bella
posted by Sandy
Great post! I am now going to look at leftover salad in a whole new light. Thanks so much for linking to my recipe.
Thanks, Dara. It's great to hear from you. I have a nice pic of you with Mr. Rubio from our meeting last month. I'll send it to the contact info you listed on your blog, Cookin' Canuck.
Wow! Brilliant! Turn your wilted salads into pesto! Very, very clever. Plus fabulous and frugal!
I can't vouch for lettuce, but salads made out of spinach, arugula, and dandelion greens work well. Baby beet greens? Hmmm.... that may be next.