Chive and Spinach Pesto

25 Mar

Quinoa pasta with chive-spinach pesto

When I lived in London, I was able to grow the following on a fifth-story balcony: blueberries, radishes, green onions, tomatoes, thyme and rosemary. When I lived in Santa Barbara, I had a 10′ x 12′ garden full of everything from corn to potatoes to zucchini. In my “backyard” in Laguna Beach? I can barely grow anything. I’m not sure why Laguna Beach has turned by green thumb brown, but I’m not happy.

But there’s one thing that grows like crazy in the backโ€”chives.

For some reason my chives are flat chives. I don't remember them starting out that way, but they are tasty nonetheless.

The rosemary does well, but then again that will grow anywhere. The chives I just let grow until they produce beautiful delicate white flowers and then go to seed. They quickly dry and I scatter the seeds around in the different pots I have out back, and soon enough, like magic, more chives grow in vibrant green bunches.

The only problem is that I don’t use the chives enough. Really, they’re just sitting out there, ignored and unloved. Actually, The Husband loves chives, so I should use them more. So I finally did what any intelligent person would do when they have an abundance of herbs: Make pesto.

The mini food processor is perfect for pesto-making.

And man, did it turn out good! So well that we’ll be using it to season our roast chicken tonight. But earlier this week The Husband cooked up some pasta for the pesto while I was out at my bi-monthly book club meeting. He added some crispy prosciutto to his serving, while mine was perfect as-is.

I added a some spinach to the pesto in case the chives were a bit too much, and it did mellow the chive flavor perfectly. I’m very happy with this concoctionโ€”let me know what you think if you make it.

(P.S. totally forgot the pine nuts in the first draft. Apologies!)

Chive and Spinach Pesto

What a beautiful color, eh?

1/3 cup roughly chopped chives
1/4 cup baby spinach
3 Tbs finely grated pecorino romano cheese (or nutritional yeast for vegans)
2 peeled cloves of garlic
2 oz. toasted pine nuts
Extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 tsp sea salt

Put everything in a mini food processor and drizzle about 3 Tbs of olive oil on top. Process for about 45 seconds. Add another 2 Tbs of olive oil and process again for 30 seconds. Add more olive oil if you like your pesto looser; I like mine pretty thick. Taste and adjust for seasoning.

This stores well in the fridge for at least a week in an airtight container.

Here’s some other pics I took while in the back yard:

These remind me of alligators. Don't ask me why.


Succulents after a rare rain this winter.


22 Responses to “Chive and Spinach Pesto”

  1. girlinafoodfrenzy March 25, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

    I’m sorry to hear that your green thumb went AWOL, I can imagine you’d miss the variety/novelty of picking your own produce on a day to day basis. I do love the look of your chive/spinach pesto though. I love using a different combination of greens from peas, coriander & the like to produce that beautiful green sauce.

    There are some really good Chinese dumpling recipes which utilise chives as the main ingredient. My local grocer has pre made wonton wrappers, which can be steamed or fried and at my folks home, they often make chive, pork and water chestnut dumplings, or minced chicken, chives & ginger. It depends on whether you want a vege/vegan option but I think celery, chives and water chestnuts work too. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Hope this helps!

    • tinykitchenstories March 25, 2012 at 4:09 pm #

      It certainly does! Thanks so much for the recipe ideas–they sound wonderful. I appreciate your help!

      • girlinafoodfrenzy March 25, 2012 at 4:50 pm #

        well I love that you have an abundance of chives! I’d swap you some basil if I could, lol! As you mentioned, it’s a shame not to use it up!!!

  2. sweatlikemambo March 25, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

    I love your succulents! I also am excited to try this new pesto recipe – I’ve never used this combination before – thanks!

  3. An Unrefined Vegan March 25, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

    That is brilliant! Never, ever thought of using chives in pesto! A little chive aside: we had a nice stand of it in our yard when I was a wee lass and I’d go and plop myself down next to it and munch away. Putting a whole new meaning on the term “a little stinker.” This pesto is right up my alley!

  4. tinykitchenstories March 25, 2012 at 6:38 pm #

    Hey everyone, I forgot the pine nuts in the recipe. I’ve added them now. I’m sure no one’s actually run out and made it yet! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. debbrunson March 25, 2012 at 10:21 pm #

    Spinach was such a great idea for balance! This sounds wonderful. I’ll keep this in the back of my head as my herbs (hopefully) take off this spring/summer ๐Ÿ™‚

    And thank you so much for your recipe for Chocolate Stout Cupcakes back in February! Just finished them up and they’re soooo good!!! I’m glad you warned about the icing giving a heart attack part way through, because it did. But, just as you said, it turned out wonderfully in the end. Two of my classmates, twins, have birthdays tomorrow- they both love chocolate and good beer, so I think your recipe will be a hit. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

    • tinykitchenstories March 26, 2012 at 7:54 am #

      Let me know if you ever get around to making the chive pesto. I”m going to do another post today on how we used it last night.

      And so excited about the cupcakes! I’m so pleased you tried one of my recipes–what an honor. Do let me know if everyone likes them.

      And yes, it doesn’t matter how many times I make that frosting, I freak out every time…

      Enjoy! And happy birthday to the twins! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • debbrunson March 26, 2012 at 8:17 am #

        I will let you know, on the pesto and how everyone enjoys the cupcakes ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you so much!

      • debbrunson March 26, 2012 at 7:44 pm #

        Everyone LOVED your cupcakes ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you so, so much. That frosting is going to be in my list of go-to’s now!

        • tinykitchenstories March 26, 2012 at 7:49 pm #

          Awesome! And yes, although a complete nail-biting experience, that frosting is totally worth it!

          And thank you for making one of my recipes. You don’t know how much that means to me! I think there’s a Jewish or Italian mother in me somewhere that needs to feed people. ๐Ÿ™‚

          • debbrunson March 26, 2012 at 8:04 pm #

            Hee hee… that’s awesome! I think I know exactly what you mean ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. emmycooks March 27, 2012 at 4:02 pm #

    This sounds SO good. I love chives and mine are sprouting bunches! Do you think your flat chives are garlic chives? I recently saw some that looked like that (in my Thai food) ๐Ÿ™‚ and they said they were garlic chives. Which I imagine would make AWESOME pesto.

    Isn’t it funny how you almost have to learn to garden all over again when you move from one climate to another? Everything I remembered about our CA garden growing up is out the window here in Seattle. Good luck!

    • tinykitchenstories March 27, 2012 at 4:23 pm #

      I don’t know if they are garlic chives for sure, but they *do* smell a little on the garlic side. Perhaps that is why this turned out extra yummy! But please try it with your chives and let me know how it turned out!

      And thanks for the gardening luck. I’ll take everything I can get! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. eof737 March 28, 2012 at 7:54 pm #

    I love pesto and would try that dish. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • tinykitchenstories March 28, 2012 at 10:50 pm #

      Please do, and let me know what you think! I can’t wait to make a second batch.

  8. Choc Chip Uru March 29, 2012 at 11:05 am #

    What a tasty looking pesto – it looks truly divine ๐Ÿ˜€
    And the colour is beautiful!

    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Maple Raisin Ice Cream


  1. Declaring Today Green Thursday « Enter, Fitness! - May 31, 2012

    […] Chive and Spinach Pesto ( […]

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