Spinach Pesto Recipe
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.
SAVE FOR LATER
Makes 1 1/2 cups
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
Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor. Blend until the desired consistency forms.
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.
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.
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.
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.