Pesto

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

Traditional Pesto:

  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 3 tbs pine nuts (toasted)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup parmigiano-reggiano cheese
  • salt & pepper to taste

Spinach Pesto:

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 4 tbs lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 salt & pepper + more to taste

Avocado Pesto:

  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 avocados (pitted & peeled)
  • 2T lemon juice
  • 1/2c pine nuts
  • 2c basil
  • 1/2c olive oil
  • 1/4c parmesan (optional – avocados create a rich and creamy texture)
  • Salt + pepper + pasta water (as needed)
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes or sliced sun-dried tomatoes (add to pesto after it has been blended & stirred into pasta)

Kale Pesto I:

  • 1/2c walnuts, toasted
  • 1c basil
  • 2c kale
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2t sea salt
  • 1/2c olive oil
  • 1/4-1/2c parmesan

Kale Pesto II:

  • 4 cups (approx. 1 bunch) roughly chopped curly kale leaves
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Optional Add-ins (1/2 cup each):

  • Artichoke hearts
  • Walnuts
  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • Cashew Cream

Pesto + Cashew Cream Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup traditional pesto
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup water

Pesto + Vegan Ricotta Sauce:

Walnut Pesto:

  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts, toasted
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup olive oil

Artichoke + Walnut Pesto:

  • 1 14-oz can or jar of artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1 cup packed fresh Italian parsley
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling on baguette
  • 1/4 cup water

Arugula Pepita Pesto:

  • 5 oz arugula
  • 3/4 cup pepitas
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • freshly ground pepper

Arugula Walnut Pesto:

  • 4 cups arugula
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 12 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled & minced
  • 1/2 – 1 full lemon, juiced
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Directions:

Traditional, Kale, Arugula Pepita, Avocado, Spinach Pestos:

  1. Mix everything but the olive oil and cheese (if using) in a food processor until you have a paste.
  2. Add olive oil slowly and pulse.
  3. Remove from food processor and stir in cheese.
  4. Add salt and pepper (and pasta water, if available) to taste.

Pesto + Cashew Cream Sauce:

  1. Place the pesto, cashews, and water in a high-powered blender (such as a Vitamix) and blend until smooth.

Walnut Pesto:

  1. In a food processor, combine basil, walnuts, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.  As you process, slowly drizzle in the oil.

Artichoke + Walnut Pesto:

  1. In a food processor, pulse artichoke hearts, parsley, walnuts, garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper, olive oil, and water until combined.

Arugula + Walnut Pesto:

  1. Lightly brown the unpeeled garlic cloves, about 10 minutes. Peel off the skins once they have cooled.
  2. Toast the walnuts over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes, until fragrant.
  3. In a food processor, combine the arugula, walnuts, garlic, salt.
  4. Pulse while drizzling in the olive oil.
  5. Place in a bowl and stir in the parmesan, freshly ground pepper, and lemon juice.

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