A new take on the classic Pesto, paired with a Caprese salad and an optional soup from the left overs.
Ingredients for Pesto:
Frozen chopped spinach
Frozen Asparagus spears
Plain Sunflower seeds
1/2 can Cream of Poblano condensed soup
Mozzarella cheese (I used a low-fat block, rather than fresh for this portion)
For Caprese Salad:
For the soup:
The remaining Pesto
1/2 can of Cream of Poblano
Water or Half and Half
Step 1: Making the Spinach Base
In a pan, put in a little olive oil and set to medium heat.
Put in as much spinach as you think you will need, and possibly a little more if you want to try for the soup.
Stir occasionally until no limp and no longer frozen.
Once it is thawed, add a half can of condensed soup. I used Cream of Poblano.
Stir until well mixed and add a few cubes of Mozzarella. For this, I liked the block cheese for its melting quality.
Let these cubes melt, stir and remove from heat.
Step 2: Making It a Pesto
When the base cools off a little, place it in a food processor or blender and add a few spears of asparagus, a handful of sunflower seeds and a few almonds. All of these are up to you, since many people are picky about their ingredients. Add a few shakes of salt, garlic and pepper, a little olive oil and blend until in between the consistencies of chunky and creamy. I chopped up a bit of bell pepper and threw it in then blended it just a little more.
Step 3: Caprese Salad
This salad is so simple that I did not want to make a separate tutorial for it, but felt it complimented the Pesto pasta well. For as simple as it is, it is absolutely delicious.
Alternate slices of tomato and slices of fresh Mozzarella, drizzle balsamic vinegar on top and finish off with a little black pepper.
Step 4: The Soup
To make a soup from the pesto, I had the remainder of it still in the blender and simply added the rest of the Cream of Poblano and water. Using Half and Half will make it much richer. Blend until it is nice and soup-like. Add salt as needed. For show, after putting it in the bowl, pour a little cream on top and swirl it around.
Step 5: Bringing It All Together
Plate the tomatoes and Mozzarella then use the Balsamic Vinegar.
Top a small mound of pasta (shown here is multi-grain Angel Hair) with some pieces seasoned grilled chicken, then spoon Pesto over it. Throw a few pieces of mozzarella on top.
Side with a slice or two of bread. I just went with store bought garlic and herb Focaccia.
And you're done!