Grow Your Own Way · Recipes · Tips and Tricks

Classic Pesto

Mmmm, Pesto…it’s so savory and versatile. With more basil than I can handle in my garden right now, how could I not make some pesto to put up this past weekend? I usually double this recipe and freeze it.

I like to throw in parsley as well. It adds a bit of freshness and complexity to the flavor!

Classic Pesto

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Blend olive oil, basil, garlic, parmesan and pine nuts (if using) in a blender or food processor. I’ve used both; I find a food processor to be much easier, but it can be done in a blender.

If I don’t have pine nuts on hand, or if I’m feeling too cheap to buy them, I might substitute almonds, which I almost always have in the house. Toasted and blended into pesto, they add a nice flavor. You can also leave the pine nuts out completely if you have guests with an allergy to nuts.

Variations on Pesto:

  • Throw an avocado into the blender for a very creamy pesto
  • Experiment with different varieties of nuts, like walnuts, pine nuts or almonds (just remember to toast them first, which prevents bitterness)
  • Add in arugula for a zippier taste
  • Switch some of the parmesan for pecorino cheese
  • Add in parsley and/or cilantro

How to use Pesto:

  • Put it on a pizza, topped with the veggies & cheese of your choice
  • Toss it with tortellini and chunky tomatoes and fresh basil
  • Slather in a sandwich with mozzarella and tomato
  • Use it as a dip for sliced veggies like peppers and carrots
  • In this awesome recipe for grilled pesto potatoes
Most importantly, enjoy your pesto, however you serve it.
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6 thoughts on “Classic Pesto

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