Spinach Pesto

Spinach Pesto in a dark grey mortar and pestle on a white slate background.

Is this spinach pesto my third pesto recipe on the blog? Why yes, yes it is. Is it my favorite pesto recipe on the blog? Absolutely.

Spinach Pesto

Recipe by Dee




  • 5 black peppercorns

  • 1 small clove of garlic

  • 1/2 cup pecan halves

  • 2 cups spinach

  • 3/4 cup finely grated extra sharp white cheddar cheese

  • 1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • Grapeseed oil

  • Kosher salt


  • Add the peppercorns and clove of garlic to the bowl of a 2 cup mortar and pestle and crush into a paste. Add the pecan halves and a pinch of salt to the mortar and use the pestle to break the pecans into small pieces.
  • Add the spinach to the mortar 1/2 cup at a time, and grind with the pestle until the spinach leaves have broken down and a thick green paste forms. Stir in the cheese and the lemon juice, then drizzle in 2 tablespoons of oil and stir. Check the consistency of the pesto and add more oil if desired. Taste and add more salt as needed.
  • Place the pesto in a small jar and pour a thin layer of oil on top to prevent it from oxidizing. Cover and store in the fridge where it should last for 5 days.


  • You might be able to make this pesto with an immersion blender, but if using a blender or food processor, you may need to use more oil.
  • I made this pesto in a granite, 2 cup mortar and pestle. It’s a bit heavy, but it’s also very sturdy and should last for generations.
  • You can swap out the spinach for arugula, mizuna, or another type of salad green for a different flavor profile. You can also swap out the pecans or cheese.
Spinach pesto made with a mortar and pestle

Ramblings: Mortar and Pestle Forever

I love making things with my mortar and pestle.

It’s such a handy tool to have in your kitchen, especially for smaller batches of things like pesto, salsa, spice rubs, and marinades.

A 2 cup capacity mortar and pestle

We’ve all probably tried to blend half a cup of something in a blender or food processor and gotten frustrated when all of the ingredients get stuck to the sides of the jar.

And sure, using a mortar and pestle is more work than a blender, but it’s also a great way to work out any… negative feelings you may have, and you get a delicious meal at the end, so it’s a win/ win.

Plus, food made in a mortar and pestle tastes better because of science! 

Please don’t ask me about the science. I’m just a home cook who reads things written by professional chefs. 

Actually… here’s a post that explains why

Anyway,  that’s all for now. I hope you consider buying a mortar and pestle, and I’ll see you later!

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