Although most familiar is the traditional basil pesto, you can make pesto by combining any green or herb with garlic, oil, nuts, and cheese. The resultant paste can be used as a pasta topping, spread on hot or cold sandwiches, whisked into salad dressing, or stirred into yogurt to make a zesty dip. Make it today, keep it in your fridge, and use it all week.
Universal Pesto Recipe (from Real Simple Magazine)
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 4 cups greens (spinach, kale, etc.) or herbs (basil, parsley, cilantro, etc.)
- 1⁄4 cup nuts, such as pine nuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds
- 2 garlic cloves (or 2 inches green garlic)
- 3⁄4 cups olive oil
- 1 cup grated parmesan or pecorino cheese
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water and set nearby. Add herbs/greens to boiling water and cook until bright green, about 10 seconds. Transfer to ice bath with a slotted spoon. When cool, drain and squeeze dry.
- Combine herbs, nuts or seeds, garlic, and 1 teaspoon salt in a food processor; process until very finely minced.
- Add cheese and pulse to combine.
- Drizzle in oil with the machine running and process until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.
- Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 1 week, or transfer to resealable plastic bags and freeze for up to 4 months; thaw in refrigerator overnight.