As a follow up to our previous post about basil, here is my favorite pesto recipe. Substitutions are easy–if pine nuts are too expensive, walnuts, toasted pumpkin seeds, or any combo of the three can be used. If basil is not in season, I’ve used spinach or a blend of spinach and arugula for a punchier sauce.
Put into blender or food processor:
- 4 cups of basil or other greens (such as spinach, parsley, arugula and/or other fresh herbs)
- Crushed fresh garlic (3 cloves) or good-quality powdered garlic to taste
- Half cup pine nuts or other nut/seed combo
- Scant cup of grated parmesan cheese
- Dash of lemon juice
Blend the above until smooth, adding olive oil to thin to the desired consistency (about 1/3 to 1/2 cup).
Pesto literally means “paste” and can be treated like any other condiment. It’s brilliant on pasta, but can also be combined with yogurt to make a great salad dressing. I also use it as a flavoring in wraps and sandwiches or as a veggie dip.