Pesto is traditionally made from fresh basil and pine nuts, which can get expensive. But did you know that you can make pesto from any type of tender greens, nuts and seeds? Check out these easy steps and the following measurements. Let your creativity go wild!
Basic Pesto Measurements
Makes about 2 cups
4 cups fresh greens
2 fresh garlic cloves
⅓ cup of grated hard cheese
½ cup nuts
½ tsp salt or to taste
1 tsp black pepper or to taste
½ cup olive oil
Steps to Make Your Homemade Pesto
Choose a tender green.
Spinach, arugula, parsley, cilantro, baby kale, chives, watercress, mint. Or whatever green is in season and sounds delicious to you. If you choose a less tender green such as chard, collards and even broccoli, try blanching them in boiling water or steaming them very briefly to soften them first.
Pick a nut or seed.
Pine nuts can be pricey. You can pick a more common nut or seed like sunflowers seeds, walnuts, almonds, pecans (our fav, we source them locally!), pepitas, or even peanuts. While nuts are a preferred ingredient, you can also use avocado in place of nuts or in addition to them.
Choose your cheese.
Use a hard salty cheese like aged cheddar, aged Asiago, Pecorino Romano, Manchego or Parmesan. If cheese is not your thing, try nutritional yeast which you can find in the health food section of most grocery stores. It has a nutty, cheesy flavor and makes a great vegan substitute for Parmesan cheese.
Experiment and customize your flavors.
Place all your ingredients in a food processor and pulse until greens are finely chopped, nuts are minced and cheese is mixed in. Alongside this, slowly add in a little olive oil, canola oil or other nut oil in a steady stream until you reach the consistency you want.
Enjoy your pesto creation!
Use it on just about anything from steamed potatoes, pasta, sandwiches, salad dressings, scrambled eggs, pizza or grilled meats.
What a surprise, I imagine you didn’t know you could make pesto in so many different ways!