We have just discovered chilli pesto – entirely by accident. Thought we had picked up a jar of the usual red pesto but it turned out to be the chilli variety and it’s rather nice (we got Aldi”s version). I have combined new potatoes and spinach before but thought I would try adding the pesto as well. Give it a whirl and try serving with grilled fish or meat. It’s quick, dead easy and there’s no need for a complicated sauce because the pesto and spinach potatoes do the job for you.
Here’s what you do. I have given a guide to quantities but you decide depending on how many mouths you are feeding:-
- New potatoes – enough for all those mouths. They can be kept whole if small enough or cut to uniformly sized chunks
- Baby spinach, washed. A handful for each person (wash your hands first please). It may look a lot but it does reduce down
- Chilli pesto – a good heaped teaspoonful per person
- Butter – as much or as little as you like (but please have some)
- Black pepper
Boil the new potatoes until tender and while that is going on, chop the spinach. When cooked, drain the potatoes (keep them in the pan, don’t drain using a colander). Don’t worry about draining every last drop of water. Quickly throw in the spinach and butter, put the lid on and leave to steam for a minute or so (that’s why it is not critical to drain every last drop of water). Add the pesto and mix the whole lot so the potatoes are coated. You can do this over a very low light but not for long. Add black pepper if you wish and serve.
OTHER STUFF TO DO WITH SPINACH
A bag of washed baby spinach is a handy thing to have around. We usually have one on the go in the fridge because it’s so versatile. I am however thinking of suing the makers of Popeye because I have eaten quite a bit of the stuff but, as I think I mentioned in a previous post, my arms are still like Olive Oyl’s. Spinach is rich in iron so if you start eating it regularly you can give up the Mackesons stout. Did you know, up until the 1980’s, pregnant and new mothers in the UK were advised to drink stout to boost their iron levels? I remember my mum drinking it after my baby brother was born. That may have been because of the shock though.
Anyway, here are a few things you can do with spinach (baby spinach is best):-
- As a vegetable in its own right. Frankly, not my favourite way of consuming spinach but can be livened up with butter, lemon juice and/or garlic or cream and nutmeg.
- Chop and add it to casseroles (or even gravy!). Can’t really taste it so it’s a good way of getting fresh vegetables into reluctant children or carnivores.
- Finely chop it and add to a cheese sauce to make posh looking pasta dishes
- Add to homemade tomato sauce and make more pasta dishes
- Use as a salad leaf
- Put in your sandwiches, e.g tuna mayonnaise, coronation chicken (not Marmite or jam, that would be weird)