Homemade Pesto

Its not secret that pesto is one of my favorite condiments. My earliest memory of pesto, was sharing a toasted bagel with cream cheese and pesto with my dad on school mornings. It’s one of the many things my dad and I still both really love to eat. When I learned how to make pesto, I loved it even more. I enjoy adding ingredients and trying out new greens every time. Here are the basics I use in pesto:

  • Good quality olive oil
  • Greens (most often use basil but have also added spinach, kale, cilantro, mint, parsley, argula)
  • Nuts (most often use pine nuts but try walnuts, almonds, pecans)
  • Garlic cloves
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Lemon juice

IMG_5745I find that my food processor mixes the pesto better than my blender – but try both and decide what works in your kitchen. Mix your dry ingredients first and then add olive to give your desired consistency. Let the pesto sit for about an hour before adding too much salt. After it sits for awhile the flavor really develops and becomes brighter and usually doesn’t require more salt.

IMG_5746One of my favorite things about making pesto at home is how well it freezes. I always try to make way more than I need for that night’s dinner and freeze it to use later. Its way better than having to buy the expensive jars of pesto that are often are packed with sodium.

IMG_5750I’ve never turned down a dish with pesto, but here are few of my favorite ways to enjoy this creamy goodness:

  • Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad
  • Pesto pizza
  • Pasta with pesto Alfredo
  • Sliced toasted bread with pesto and Manchego cheese
  • Sandwich with salami and pesto
  • Pesto stuffed chicken breasts
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