I am so thankful that I do not have food allergies.  I used to babysit this little girl who was allergic to nuts.  It did not matter what kind.  If she got near anything with nuts, it was an immediate trip to the hospital.  Unbeknownst to me I had made peanut butter cookies for the family. It was close to Halloween and I was heading over to babysit for a night. I wanted to do something nice so I took them cookies…cut to me never babysitting for them again.

I’ve known several people with allergies to dairy.  I even knew a girl who was allergic to chocolate.  Okay, maybe she wasn’t allergic to chocolate, but she didn’t like it.  How can anyone not like chocolate? She must have been allergic…yep lets go with that.

I really love pesto.  It is good slathered over chicken, fish or any kind of meat, drizzled over eggs or bread, mixed with some mayo to spread on a panini, tossed with pasta, you name it.  I’m pretty sure you could top it on almost anything and it’d be delicious.  Maybe not like, you know, ice cream, but hey someone out there might like that.

This pesto is nut free, for any of you out there that have allergies. Of course, if you wanted nuts in this, you could easily add any kind you’d like. The traditional nut being pine nuts, but I’ve made pesto with pistachios, walnuts, etc.  Also, pesto is a great way to use up any greens you have that are about to go bad.  For example, my spinach was about to rot, so I made pesto!  You can make pesto with herbs, leafy greens like spinach, arugula, kale…the combinations are honestly endless.  Find one to make that has all of the flavors you like.

Light Lemon and Spinach Pesto

2 cups spinach

2 tsp. lemon juice

1/2 tsp. lemon zest

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

salt and pepper

In a food processor, add the spinach, lemon juice and zest.  Pulse a few times until the spinach has broken down.  Then with the mixer running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until combined.  Add salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese.  Give the processor another whirl then taste.  Adjust seasonings if needed.  Use immediate or store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

 I think I’ll go make some chicken paninis with this pesto for my lunch.