My lovely Mother-in-Law asked me to post my pesto recipe.
Pesto is one of my all-time favorite foods to have in the freezer, ready to add quick and fresh flavor to anything and everything. I like to freeze the pesto in ice cube trays, then pop the cubes out and store them in a ziplock bag. You can drop one or two into a pot of hot tomato soup, or a bowl of pasta, and you have an instant delicious meal. And one of my favorite ways to use pesto is to add it to cauliflower rice.
You get the point. It’s versatile, and a great way to harvest and use your homegrown herbs.
The recipe itself is even versatile! Here’s the general template:
Blend the following ingredients, tasting and adding seasonings as you go:
- Herbs. You need a lot of green, leafy herbs for pesto. The traditional combo is basil and Italian flat-leaf parsley, but I haven’t used that combo in years. Mint and basil is such a bright, beautiful combo and mint grows so easily. I also like cilantro and parsley, or a combo of a bunch of different herbs ~ cilantro, dill, basil, mint, and parsley. I really don’t think you can go wrong, y’all.
- Nuts. You can use any kind of nut you want, as well. Walnuts are my absolute favorite, but I’ve used all kinds ~ peanuts, cashews, pine nuts (the traditional choice) ~ I’ve even used Macadamia nuts, cuz I’m crazy like that.
- The rest of the basic ingredients: lemon juice, parmesan cheese, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Optional ingredients: Kalamata olives, balsamic vinegar (just a dash makes it so rich), crushed red pepper, lemon zest, honey, and sometimes I even add veggie stock to thin out the consistency.
Don’t measure any of this out. Go with your gut ~ I don’t usually like more than one clove of garlic, but maybe you’d like it super garlicky. Well? It’s a free country! Do it!
If you like things sweet, add more honey.
You get the idea.
I made a Thai pesto one time and it was awesome ~ I used Thai basil, mint, kefir lime leaves, soy sauce, avocado oil, toasted sesame oil, and peanuts.
A Tex-Mex version with cilantro, ground cumin and lime juice is also a hit at our house.
I’ve never done this, but you could make a french-inspired pesto with tarragon, butter and olive oil, and maybe some soft cheese like goat cheese.
See how versatile this can get?
Thanks for always liking my food, Cindy!!