This diverse little spread is wonderful! I love making it myself so I know exactly what’s in it. You can also alter the flavor profile depending upon which herbs are highlighted, and what seasonings are added in. It can be used as a sandwich spread, pasta sauce, or pizza sauce and I’m sure all you creative types out there can think of more culinary ways to use pesto.
makes 1 Cup
1 C fresh basil leaves
1/2 C fresh Italian parsley leaves
1/4 C pine nuts, toasted if you’d like
1/4 C freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 C olive oil
Juice from 1/4 lemon (about 1t)
1/4 t xanthan gum optional
Salt & Pepper to taste
I really like basil to be the predominant flavor in pesto, so I did a 2:1 ratio of basil to parsley. Also, shredded or shaved Parmesan from the store is fine, there’s just something in me that tries to go as fresh as possible. Finally, the xanthan gum isn’t necessary if you don’t have it. Though it’s about $14 a bag right now it will last forever because you use so little in each recipe that calls for it. I still don’t totally understand the mysteries of all that xanthan gum can do because it acts as a binder in gluten free foods, but as a food separator in things like blended coffee drinks and pesto. The things you learn from the internet and reading labels in the aisles of Wholefoods.
Anyway, I first tore off the leaves and tossed them into my food processor.
Then, I freshly pressed some garlic. I love fresh garlic! And I love my garlic press! I discovered a garlic press a couple years ago and absolutely adore it. You don’t even have to peel the skin off the garlic! It makes cooking that much easier. Look at it! It’s stunning!
This one is by Calphalon and you can get one here. Use it to press some garlic into the food processor.
Shred the Parmesan cheese. Feel free to shred liberally.
Toss it in!
Then add the pine nuts. If you’ve never toasted nuts before for a recipe, I highly recommend it. It brings out a lovely flavor! Go here for a good tutorial on how to toast nuts.
Then add the remaining ingredients.
And blend away. You may want to add more oil or water to thin it out, depending on what you will be using the pesto for. I was using it as a sandwich spread, so this came out as the perfect consistency.
And that’s it. Perfect pesto! This will last covered and refrigerated for up to 3 weeks. Enjoy!
To make these lovely sandwiches, see my post here.