Tonight I proudly made my first batch of Pesto! I was so surprised at how easy AND delicious it turned out to be. I was eager to make a batch of pesto because one of my favourite lunch spots in Toronto, XO Bisous makes an amazing Harvest Salad and the pesto dressing is what makes it SO good! I figured if pesto works so well with this salad, it should totally work with other combinations. BUT when I went to the grocery store to pick out a pesto I noticed the sodium levels were SO high. I thought what the heck I can do this myself. A couple hours later I had a beautiful easy homemade pesto recipe that I will absolutely be making again.
This recipe is a must try I promise you won’t be disappointed!
All you need is:
½ clove garlic , chopped
freshly ground black pepper
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
1 handful pine nuts , (option to toast them very lightly but if you are short on time don’t worry)
1 tablespoon of freshly grated parmesan or pecorina romano
4 tablespoons (at least) extra virgin olive oil
option to add lemon juice if more liquid is needed
1 blender or food processor
Start by blending the pine nuts to break them down. Then continuously add bits of ingredients. Add oil, cheese, basil, garlic blend/pulse, more cheese, oil, basil, garlic. Blend/pulse. Add salt and pepper, more oil. And so on until you have used all of your ingredients. The olive oil is really key to giving the pesto a smooth texture so adding it slowly will help you find the perfect consistency.
And that is it people! See what I mean? Super easy.
I used it to top off a simple grilled chicken and mixed green salad. But really the options are endless with pesto and I will definitely be posting more recipes with it as well as trying out experiments with different ingredients!
I made a second version that includes pumpkin seeds and arugula! You can either add pumpkin seeds to the original recipe in addition to pine nuts or use them as a substitute. They add great flavour and on the plus side are cheaper than pine nuts – so its a great alternative. Adding arugula adds another dimension of flavour plus gives you another way to add some healthy greens to your meals!
Follow the same instructions as above. If you are using pine nuts and pumpkin seeds you can use half a handful of each or if you are only using pumpkin seeds throw in a handful. With the arugula you can add a handful as well. The rest is the same! Enjoy 🙂