Raw Spinach Pesto – Ricotta/Pesto Crostini


Now, whenever we have a kid birthday party to attend, the first question the twins ask is “will there be cupcakes?!?”.  Mine is, “will there be mixed drinks or just beer and wine?” The next thought that crosses my mind? This is my chance to make food for other people who – in most cases- won’t push it away in a fit of toddler rage.  What a treat!!

I made an awesome batch of raw spinach pesto – and one of the bonuses of living in Brooklyn is that almost every grocery store carries some brand of really great tasting ricotta.  Calabra (http://www.calabrocheese.com) makes a very tasty whole milk ricotta cheese.  I have found this in Wegmans, Whole Foods – even our local deli/meat market carries it.  If you can’t find that, I ask that you investigate making your own – I have several times in the past and it is a fun adventure.  If you can only find the standard supermarket brands, whisk in some heavy cream or puree it in a food processor with a little heavy cream.

Raw Spinach Pesto ~ Ricotta/Pesto Crostini


  • Pesto:
  • 3 cups raw spinach
  • 1 cup basil
  • 1 cup walnuts (or almonds)
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Crostini:
  • baguette
  • fresh ricotta - add little salt and pepper and mix
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt


  1. Pesto- put everything into a food processor or vitamix blender. Blend until a blur of cohesive green deliciousness is in there. Taste and add more salt if flavors do not pop.
  2. Crostini's- slice bread into 1/4" think slices. Spread layer of ricotta - about a tablespoon worth - then a spoonful of pesto on top if that. Taste one to see if you need to add a sprinkle of salt.
  3. I served them as a do it yourself appetizer - I made a few up, then had a pile of baguette slices, cute bowls containing the pesto and ricotta. Drizzle some olive oil on ricotta and sprinkle top with coarse salt.

The recipe makes a lot of pesto – toss it with pasta and shrimp (that was our dinner the next evening). Make a cold pasta salad with the pesto, fresh mozzarella and sliced grape tomatoes – that was the husband’s lunch for the next day.  Mix into scrambled eggs and add some ricotta.  You will think about that breakfast all day long.  And perhaps have it again for dinner.

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  • shelly snyder

    you amaze me Nicole!!
    How do you do it ALL!!????
    And with such pizzazz
    I envy you and your energy and drive!

  • Megan

    OMG~soooo good!! Tried this out while planning the menu for a party coming up. I used chick peas instead of the walnuts (to make it nut-safe, we have a peanut allergy in the family). The kids were standing in line to make them. Hopefully, they will share at the party. Great recipe!

  • Nicole

    Oh Megan! I am so thrilled you and the kids enjoyed it! Makes me so happy!