If you believe reality TV cooking shows, every recipe needs a story. It’s a bit like being a method actor or a country western singer. “What’s your character’s motivation for doing this?” “Why did my truck break down, the dog die and Mary Jo Ellen, my high school sweetheart, just up and leave me?” “What’s your tragic heart-felt story behind this pesto recipe?”
Well, I do want to inspire you to cook at home more often, so break out your tissues and get ready for a story (with awesome country music playing in the background) that will blow your socks off!
I’ve never made pesto before and I wanted to try it.
Read it again with an excited tone in your head.
I’ve never made pesto before and I couldn’t wait to try it!
Is that better?
Pesto is a sauce usually made with basil, olive oil, and grated Parmesan Cheese, all blended together and served over pasta. The traditional way of making pesto is with a mortar and pestle, but most of us don’t have the time or patience for this process.
There are so many variations for pesto too. You can make pesto with spinach or basil. You can use a combination of both or neither. I saw articles on how to make 11 different types of pesto with a variety of unique ingredients. Basically it comes down to this: use any leafy greens, herbs, nuts and oils you like and have a great time with it. The very best pesto I’ve ever had was over Gnocchi in a little Italian restaurant in Santa Monica. I don’t know what was in it, but it was fabulous!
I had a little bit of homegrown basil, Baby Spinach and Fresh Herbs and Greens from Organic Girl, so that’s what I put into my pesto. There were the rest of the usual players too: freshly squeezed lemon juice, lots of garlic, toasted pine nuts and a bit of luck!
I can’t believe how easy this comes together! I wonder why I haven’t done this at home before? Live and learn. No more purchased pesto for us! I’m looking forward to experimenting with different types too. For this recipe though, the baby spinach was a solid base and I loved the unique herbaceous flavor the Organic Girl Fresh Herbs and Greens brought to the pesto. We are garlic lovers, so I used 5 big cloves of garlic. If you’re not a huge fan, start with two or three and adjust to your taste. The only other tip I can give you, is to always use the best and freshest ingredients. If you have Organic Girl in your supermarket, give it a try and see if you don’t agree it’s the best and freshest you’ll find, aside from growing it yourself!
2 cups Organic Girl Fresh Herbs and Greens, packed
1 cup Organic Girl Baby Spinach, packed
1/2 cup Fresh Basil, packed
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
5 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
1 TBLS fresh lemon juice
1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
2/3 cup olive oil
Place everything except the oil, in a blender or the bowl of a food processor.
Pulse a few times to begin breaking down the ingredients.
Add 3 TBLS oil and process until nearly smooth.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
Slowly drizzle the remaining olive oil into the mixture while processing until it reaches the consistency you want.
Add salt and pepper to taste
NOTE: You may not use all the olive oil or you may need a bit more depending on how packed your greens were!
Well, look at that! I DID have a story to tell about pesto. Gosh! I hope our truck doesn’t break down now! ;-)
For the record, I have not been compensated by Organic Girl for this post, other than to receive product to sample. All opinions are 100% my own.