Spinach Pesto Recipe

INSPIRED BY CHINA

spinach pesto inspired by China
SA
fried cauliflower rice made with spinach pesto inspired by China
chicken dumplings made with spinach pesto inspired by China

When you think of spinach, you don’t often think of Chinese food. Yet, ever since the 7th century when the King of Nepal sent the vegetable to China as a gift, the leafy green has been a staple in Chinese kitchens from broth bowls to stir-fry dishes. It also grows in many varieties in China. One variety is called en choy, which means Chinese spinach.

Spinach traces its roots to ancient Persia, which is present-day Iran. There, it was known as aspanakh.

spinach pesto inspired by China
SAVE FOR LATER

Makes 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

2 whole artichoke hearts

3 garlic cloves, peeled

1 8-ounce bag baby spinach

1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese

3 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor. Blend until the desired consistency forms.

  2. If using a mortar and pestle, crush the sunflower seeds until a fine crumb forms. Add the artichoke, garlic, and spinach. Mash until fairly smooth. Mix in the remaining ingredients. Mash until the desired consistency forms.

  3. Store pesto in an airtight container or jar in the refrigerator for up to one week. Use throughout the week in the next two recipes. Pesto can last in an airtight container in the freezer for up to six months.

Uses

fried cauliflower rice made with spinach pesto inspired by China

Stir-Fried Cauliflower Rice

Stir fry originated in China. During the Ming Dynasty, which lasted from 1368 to 1644, this technique for cooking meat and vegetables became widely popular among Chinese people. That’s also when China’s population doubled and stir fry then spread throughout the world.

chicken dumplings made with spinach pesto inspired by China

Chicken Dumplings

Momo, or a type of steamed dumpling, is one of the most common foods in Nepal, the country that gave spinach to China. In both Nepal and China, dumplings are often made at home. They are filled with meat or vegetables, steamed or fried, and served with different dipping sauces.