Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Spinach-Walnut Pesto on Bruschetta with Fried Egg

So I spent the last week of September/First week of October in Southern California visiting my parents. When I left Taos I had a huge terra cotta pot of basil growing in my front yard.  I kept meaning to make tons of pesto to freeze for the winter but ran out of time.  My plan was to do this as soon as I returned.  That plan was dashed when we had a few early fall freezing nights.  I came home to black, limp basil. Sadly, no basil pesto for me until next summer.

Happily, delicious pesto can be made with a wide variety of herbs, greens and/or nuts.  This ensures pesto can be made year round with locally sourced ingredients.  Win, Win for all.

One of my favorite versions uses spinach.  This delicate green provides the perfect complement to the traditional parmigiano-reggiano cheese and extra virgin olive oil used in authentic pesto alla GenoveseI further strayed from tradition and used walnuts instead on pine nuts.  This pesto slathered over toasted bread and topped with a fried egg makes a delicious breakfast, brunch or lunch. Or, skip the egg and serve on the toast (bruschetta) as an appetizer.  I am OK with waiting for Summer for the basil version!

Spinach-Walnut Pesto on Bruschetta with Fried Egg
1/2 cup walnut halves
2 oz parmigiano-reggiano cheese, cut into 2 pieces
2 garlic cloves
1 fresh red cayenne pepper (or other fresh hot red pepper), seeded
5 cups baby spinach leaves (packed)
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
freshly cracked black pepper
whole wheat sourdough baguette
6 fresh organic eggs
extra virgin olive oil for skillet and drizzling
12 baby spinach leaves chopped for garnish (optional)

Toast walnuts in skillet until just beginning to brown.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Add cheese to food processor fitted with the chopping/mixing blade.  Process until cheese is grated.  Add cooled walnuts, garlic and red pepper and process until all ingredients are finely grated.  Add half of spinach, lemon juice and 1/4 cup olive oil and process until smooth but with a bit of texture.  Add remaining spinach, remaining olive oil, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Process until well mixed.  Taste and adjust seasonings if desired.

Slice bread into twelve 3/4 to 1 inch thick pieces.  Toast in oven or toaster until golden brown.  Slather pesto over bruschetta.

Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Add enough olive oil to lightly cover pan.  Crack eggs into skillet and turn heat down to medium-low.  Cover pan and cook for 3 1/2-5 minutes or until whites are set and yolk is cooked to your preference. (I like mine runny so I cook for 3 1/2 minutes.)

Place 2 pieces bruschetta on each plate and top with 1 egg per serving.  Serve immediately topping egg with sea salt, pepper & chopped spinach leaves.

It is "spinach" week at Food Network's Fall Fest roundup. Check out the other delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends. Do you have a favorite spinach recipe? Share in the comments section and/or link to your blog if you have one.
Feed Me Phoebe: Healthy Creamed Spinach
The Heritage Cook: Fresh Spinach with Maple Vinegar Vinaigrette
Big Girls, Small Kitchen: Za'atar Roasted Salmon with Greens
Blue Apron Blog: Saag Paneer at Home
Weelicious: Spinach Cake Muffins
Virtually Homemade: Creamy Spinach and Chicken Casserol
Haute Apple Pie: Parmesan Spinach, Broccoli and Chicken Bake
Red or Green: Spinach-Walnut Pesto on Bruschetta with Fried Egg
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Spinach with Sausage, Peppers and Tomatoes
The Sensitive Epicure: Spanakopita Minus the -Opita
Taste With The Eyes: Spinach and Chickpeas in a Bengali Mustard Sauce
Domesticate Me: Warm Spinach Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette and a Fried Egg
In Jennie's Kitchen: Crispy Spinach Latkes 
Devour: How to Make Spinach Gnocchi
Dishin & Dishes: Pear, Walnut and Blue Cheese Salad with Arugula and Baby Spinach
FN Dish: Eat Your Spinach Sides

My best,
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