Hey friends – I’m back to blogging after a short break in June
(and most of July). I have a bunch of fun posts planned, so I’m really excited for the next few months! First up, I’m sharing this delicious homemade pesto recipe!
My mother’s side of the family is very Italian, so I grew up eating homemade meatballs, spaghetti sauce, wedding soup, and pizzelles. However, there were a few stereotypically “Italian” things that we rarely (if ever) ate – like alfredo sauce and pesto. I’ve come to appreciate these flavors a lot as I’ve gotten older, and I love making things from scratch. We’ve been making pesto for the last few years and even though it’s really easy to make, there’s a huge difference between store-bought and homemade.
Homemade Pesto Recipe
- 1 cup basil (or ½ cup basil, ½ cup spinach or other greens)
- ¼ cup pine nuts (check the bulk foods section of your grocery store)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 tbsp. parmesan cheese
Add all ingredients except cheese to a food processor and pulse until smooth. Add cheese and process just enough to combine. Don’t worry too much about exact measurements – just taste as you go along! Store in the fridge or freezer; we keep half in the fridge and freeze the other half to use later. If you won’t be using the pesto right away, you may want to add the cheese just before serving to help the pesto last longer.
It’s really easy to slightly modify this pesto recipe to accommodate your tastes. Here are a few suggestions:
- For a milder pesto, use half basil leaves and half spinach leaves. (We do this mostly because spinach is a lot cheaper than basil.) Other greens may also be used.
- Try toasting the pine nuts, roasting the garlic, or using pecorino cheese instead of parmesan for a more gourmet flavor.
- Add a tiny amount of salt and/or lemon juice to enhance the flavor. (You don’t want to taste the salt or lemon juice; you just want them to bring out the flavor of the other ingredients.)
Here are a few ideas of some things you can make with your tasty new pesto:
- Add pesto to a toasted ham & Swiss baguette.
- Top crostini with pesto and fontinella cheese for a delicious appetizer.
- Add pesto to pasta with a little bit of olive oil; serve with chicken alfredo or chicken parmesan.
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