Spinach Adds Flavor, Vitamins To Pesto

Iolani School theatre teacher Robert Duval is the director for Heaven Forbid!, which stars Patty Duke and Joe Moore, as detailed in this week’s cover story. Along with his passion for theatre, Robert also is an enthusiast of spinach salads.

While he loves to eat them at local restaurants, here’s an easy recipe that combines his favorite ingredient to try at home. Spoon it over grilled vegetables, meat or fish, and add it to pasta, rice or quinoa.

Spinach is high in antioxidants and a good source of vitamins A, C, E, K, magnesium, manganese, folate, iron, B vitamins, calcium, potassium, folic acid, copper, protein, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids.


* 1 1/2 cups spinach leaves (washed thoroughly)
* 3/4 cup fresh basil leaves
* 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
* 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
* 4 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered (use less if you don’t care for garlic)
* 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
* 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
* 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (may use 1/4 cup to lower fat)
* salt and pepper, to taste

Blend the spinach, basil, pine nuts, Parmesan, garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice, lemon zest and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a food processor or blender until nearly smooth.

Pause to scrape the sides of the bowl to catch any escaped spinach and mix it back in.

Drizzle the remaining olive oil into the mixture and blend until smooth.