There’s always pesto in my refrigerator. It’s an easy, healthy, fast, and a reliable go to sauce for many meals, big and small. I use it for pasta of course, but also as a pizza sauce, a spread on bread like toast and baguettes, and even on rice.
You don’t really need a recipe for pesto, but below are the basic measurements to get you started if you’ve never made pesto. Always taste and season as you go along and create your own variety.
Pesto is traditionally made with basil, but you can use any kind of herbs, greens, or even peas, which is a complete protein and it has its own unique flavor and bright, beautiful color. I’ve made pesto using arugula, kale, spinach, swiss chards, and often a mix of greens and herbs, especially when they are approaching senior life. It’s a great way to rescue them.
Raw garlic doesn’t agree with me, so I always use cooked or roasted garlic, which makes the pesto even more delicious. Try it sometime.
You can use any kind of nuts. Pine nuts are traditional, but they are often expensive and hard to find, so I use whatever nuts are on sale. I always use unsalted and raw nuts. I’ve used almonds, walnuts, cashews, etc., or even a mix. Toasting the nuts really does make a difference, and you don’t have to do it on the stove. Just put them in the toaster oven for a few minutes at 300 degrees, and it’s easy with no mess and no pan to wash.
I use my blender because my food processor is not working and it works beautifully, but you can use whatever works for you.
You can easily double or triple this recipe if you have a big family or you’re making it as a gift. Make sure to put it in an air right container and keep in the refrigerator and it will last for at least a few weeks.
There are endless possibilities for a pesto. So experiment using your favorite herbs, greens, nuts, and even oils and make your own creation to enjoy, and pass it down to your family and future generations.
Makes about 1 1/2 cup
- 2 cups of organic basil or any kind of herbs or small greens like baby kale, baby spinach or a mix, or organic peas. I use frozen organic peas thawed and well rinsed and dry.
- ½ teaspoon or more of sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon or freshly ground pepper
- 1-2 cloves of garlic; roughly chopped or minced; fresh, cooked, or roasted
- ½ cup of organic olive oil as needed
- ¼ cup or handful of unsalted nuts of your choice; preferably unsalted, raw and toasted
- 1 tablespoon or more of nutritional yeast for nutrients and cheese flavor.
- Half of small red or white onion; chopped. Onions adds sweetness.
- Chili flakes or hot sauce of your choice. You can always add these later per individual meals.
If you’ve used pesto in unique ways, please share with everyone. I’m always looking for new ways to enjoy them, and I’m sure you have your own imaginative and creative ways. Thank you.