Spinach Salad with Pesto and Peas, Please!
If you’re hosting friends for a backyard BBQ this weekend — or heading to a lake house, the beach or the mountains — make this easy spinach salad. It’s my go-to summer salad, full of flavor, easy to put together and always a crowd pleaser.
I found this recipe through Ina Garten about 10 years ago and have been making it ever since. Over time, I’ve added more spinach, lemon juice and my own pesto recipe. You could add cooked quinoa for a touch of protein or top it with roasted salmon or sliced grilled chicken.
Recently, Meg Grant and Caroline Harper Knapp asked me to provide the menu for an easy Memorial Day gathering. This spinach salad was of course on the menu, along with purchased fried chicken, my orange blossom honey butter, buttermilk biscuits and watermelon slices. Easy (spinach salad) peasy.
Spinach Salad with Pesto and Peas
Yield 6 servings
Quick to put together and bright with citrus and basil pesto, this is one of my favorite summer salads. I prefer to use homemade pesto (recipe linked to in ingredient list), but good quality store bought pesto works in a pinch.
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
- 2 cups frozen peas
- 3 cups baby spinach leaves
- 2/3 cup pesto
- 1 lemon
- ¼ cup grated pecorino cheese
- Warm a sauté pan over medium heat and add the pine nuts; stir for 2-3 minutes until toasted.
- Defrost the peas at room temperature or in a microwave safe bowl for 30-45 seconds at a time, until just thawed.
- Place the spinach, peas and pine nuts in a salad bowl. Add 2/3 cup of the pesto and squeeze the lemon over the salad greens; toss to combine.
- Sprinkle with pecorino and serve.
Note: Adapted over time from an Ina Garten recipe.