Pesto is an incredibly delicious, versatile, and easy thing to make! It’s based off of four, wonderful ingredients- basil, garlic, pine nuts, and olive oil. You can use pesto in a variety of dishes such as: pizza, sandwiches, pasta, flatbread, and more!
One thing to note: pesto typically calls for parmesan cheese, but we decided to make a vegan pesto, so we took it out. However, if you want to add the cheese back in, you should consider reducing the amount of salt you use.
makes 4-5 cups
3 cups compressed basil (about 4 bunches)
3/4 cup pine nuts
3/4 cup good olive oil
3 cloves garlic (sliced)
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt (flexible based on taste)
To start, wash all of your basil leaves and set them out to dry (usually for about 2-3 hours).
While they’re drying you can take the time to assemble your other ingredients. Note: If you have a small food processor, as we do, I recommend dividing the ingredients by 3 (1 cup basil, 1/4 cup pine nuts, etc.). Processing the pesto in batches can help avoid overrunning the food processor.
Once your basil has dried, place the basil, garlic, and pine nuts into your food processor and pulse. In between pulses you will want to scrape the inside of the processor to make sure it gets minced evenly.
Then, add the olive oil, pepper, and salt. Continue to pulse the food processor and scrape down the sides. Once the mixture has reached the consistency of a puree, you’re done!
At this point, you’ll want to either add it to whatever you intend to use it on, or place it in a container.
If you plan on saving this for later, be sure to add a thin layer of olive oil to the top. This will keep it fresh tasting for longer. Also, this can be frozen for around 3 months!
Pesto is great just spread over pasta as a sauce or over bread. It is nice to keep some in the freezer for a quick and healthy weekday meal!