Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Pesto Formula

Pesto Formula
One of the foods I was most excited to make when I first got a food processor was pesto.  I love having pesto as a spread on sandwiches, on pasta or gnocchi, or even on vegetables.

I originally thought that pesto had to be made with basil, pinenuts, and tons of oil.  After lots of experimentation, I have learned that you can make pesto with pretty much any leafy green, any nut you want, and not that much oil.  One of my favorite ways to make pesto is with kale.  Kale is cheaper than basil, has tons of nutritional benefits, and doesn't turn your pesto brown like basil.  I also like to make pesto with almonds and/or walnuts-- much cheaper than pinenuts!

You should view the recipe below as more of a formula.  Use it as a starting point for your own perfect pesto!  Experiment and have fun! :)  And stay tuned because tomorrow I will have a great way to use your pesto!

Pesto Formula

yield: about 1 1/2 cups pesto


  • 4 cups greens (kale, spinach, basil, or another favorite herb of choice)
  • 2 ounces parmesan cheese, grated or cut into chunks
  • 2-4 large cloves of garlic, to taste
  • 1/3 cup nuts (walnuts, almonds, pinenuts, or a combination... feel free to try another type of nut as well!)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (or to taste)
  • pinch of cracked red pepper flakes (optional, for heat)
  • water


1) Combine greens, cheese, garlic and nuts in the bowl of a food processor with the steel blade attachment. Process until ground.

2)  Add olive oil, lemon juice and spices.  Process again until combined.  Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
Pesto Formula

3)  Thin with water until pesto is the desired consistency.  For a sandwich spread, you might not need any water.  For a pasta sauce, you might want up to 1/2 cup of water.

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