You know that giddy feeling when something so delicious crosses your path, and you can’t help but crave it for days on end? That was me last week, stuck in a daydream about a glorious mozzarella, tomato, and prosciutto melt practically dripping with pesto. But hey, has adulting ever stopped me from indulging in heavenly flavors? Absolutely not!
Pesto-addiction aside, I think we’ve all had our fair share of hanger-lead questionable eating choices. Like that time I attacked a plate of nachos without taking my mittens off (oops, a fellow New Yorker’s got to stay warm, right?). But with the elixir of all things ridiculously delicious, life’s little hiccups seem to fade away.
Enter the fantastic, green magic that is Pesto Sauce. It’s the soothing balm for that gnawing hanger and those wild cravings, one spreadswell slather at a time. And, of course, it lies in wait, ready to elevate something simple into culinary gold.
So, grab a spatula and find your inner sauce sorcerer, because my homemade pesto recipe is an instant game-changer. In no time, you’ll be whisking up a batch that’ll make you the envy of foodies everywhere. Say goodbye to hangry moments and hello to flavorful satisfaction!
- Fresh basil leaves – The star of the show, it’s bright green and packed with flavor, essential for that authentic pesto taste.
- Parmesan cheese – A perfect complement to the basil, it gives the pesto a salty and nutty flavor.
- Garlic – A subtle kick of heat that pairs well with the other ingredients.
- Pine nuts – A nice crunch and richness to the pesto, can be substituted with walnuts or almonds.
- Salt – A seasoning essential that helps bring out the flavors of all the other ingredients.
- Black pepper – Adds a subtle heat and zing to the pesto.
- Extra virgin olive oil – The base of the pesto and gives it a smooth and creamy texture.
- It’s time to make some pesto! If you’re looking for a recipe that’s packed with flavor and easy to make, this is the one for you. First things first, you’ll need to gather your ingredients. You’ll need 2.5 cups of fresh basil leaves, 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese (or a vegan alternative), 3 cloves of garlic, 2 tablespoons of pinenuts, 1 teaspoon of salt, and ½ teaspoon of black pepper. And let’s not forget the ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil.
- Now, let’s get started. Take your food processor or blender and add in the basil leaves, pinenuts, vegan Parmesan cheese, garlic, salt and pepper, and extra virgin olive oil. Blend it until it becomes creamy and smooth. Just like magic! Scrape down the sides of the bowl as you process to make sure everything is evenly blended.
- You can eat it right away or store it in a sealed, airtight container and refrigerate it for up to 5 days. If you’re looking to freeze it, it will last for up to 6 months. I like to freeze it in an ice cube tray lined with plastic wrap. That way, you can have small portions ready to go when you need them.
- To prevent any browning, simply pour a thin layer of olive oil on top of the pesto, ensuring the surface is covered.
- Or, place a sheet of plastic wrap directly over the surface of the pesto.
Serving Suggestions for Pesto
Here are a few fun ways to enjoy this deliciously creamy pesto!
As a pasta sauce. This one is a no-brainer! Toss your cooked pasta with a generous amount of pesto for a quick and easy meal. Add some cherry tomatoes and grilled chicken for a complete dish.
As a spread. Slather some pesto on crusty bread and enjoy it as an appetizer or a light lunch. You can also use it as a spread for your sandwich or wrap.
As a marinade. Add some pesto to your chicken, fish, or tofu before grilling or baking for an extra burst of flavor. Don’t forget to let it marinate for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors meld together.
Can I make this pesto recipe with a blender instead of a food processor?
Absolutely! A blender should work just as well as a food processor for this recipe. Just make sure to scrape down the sides of the container as you blend for a smooth consistency.
Can I use dried basil leaves instead of fresh for this pesto recipe?
Fresh basil leaves will give the best flavor, but you can use dried basil in a pinch. Use about 1/3 cup dried basil in place of Q:5 cups fresh. Keep in mind that the pesto may not be as vibrant in color and the flavor will be more muted.
Is there a vegan alternative for the parmesan cheese in this pesto recipe?
Yeah, you can use vegan parmesan cheese or even nutritional yeast. Both are delicious and will give you that cheesy flavor without the dairy.
How long can I keep this pesto in the fridge?
You can store pesto in a sealed, airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days. To help prevent any browning, simply pour a thin layer of olive oil on top of the pesto, ensuring the surface is covered. Or, place a sheet of plastic wrap directly over the surface of the pesto.
Can I freeze this pesto recipe?
Yes, you can store pesto in a sealed, airtight container and freeze for up to 6 months. One of my favorite ways to freezing is in an ice cube tray lined with plastic wrap, so that it’s already divided into small portions. Simply freeze, pop the cubes out and place into a freezer bag!
- Food processor or high-powered blender
- 5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons pinenuts, toasted
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- Begin by toasting the pinenuts in a small pan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until they are golden brown and fragrant, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
- In the bowl of a food processor or blender, add the fresh basil leaves, toasted pinenuts, grated parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, pepper, and extra virgin olive oil.
- Process the mixture until it is creamy and smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Taste and adjust seasoning as needed, adding more salt, pepper, or olive oil to taste.
- Serve immediately, drizzled with a little extra virgin olive oil, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
The pesto can also be stored in an ice cube tray lined with plastic wrap and divided into small portions for easy use later.