I was never a fan of pesto until I started making it myself. I always found it oily and gloppy and downright unappealing. But one year, our little veggie garden decided to produce tonnes of basil and parsley, and I was running out of ideas... And that's when I realised that I could write my own pesto rules. And this is what I encourage you to do too!
Pesto is traditionally made with basil, garlic, parmesan cheese, pine nuts and olive oil. Depending on where you're from, you might add in parsley too. It is traditionally made as a sauce, so lots of olive oil is added to give it a fluid consistency.
But I'm here to show you how I have made my own pesto rules based on my preference - and encourage you to do the same!!!
Because I don't enjoy the oily, gloppy consistency of traditional pesto, I just chose to add a lot less olive oil. And what I ended up with had the ideal consistency for spreading on crackers - so it now regularly features on my veggie platters along with other awesome dips and spreads.
I don't always have pine nuts in my pantry, but I ALWAYS have raw almonds on hand, so that's what I use!
So, take this recipe as a kicking-off point. Make pesto YOUR WAY!
And while I'm on my soapbox, use it your way too! Pesto is DELICIOUS if you make it right, and deserves to be used for much more than pasta sauce!
1 bunch basil (remove the thickest, woodiest stalks!)
1/2 bunch parsley
1 cup raw almonds (or more or less if you feel like it!)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1-2 cloves garlic (or more - or less! - depending on your taste for garlic, and what you will be using this pesto for: if you will be serving it right away with crackers then definitely add less garlic because raw garlic can burn like battery acid! If you are going to cook with your pesto, or if you are making it in advance to use the next day, the garlic will mellow, you you might be able to add a little more. Experiment dahlinks! This is YOUR PESTO, so go freestyle!)
1/4-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (depending on the consistency you want. I personally use less, but if you want to toss your pesto through pasta, then consider using a little more).
Salt and pepper to taste
Place all ingredients except olive oil in a food processor and process until combined. Keep processing, adding in olive oil in a fine stream until you have reached your desired consistency.
Taste and add salt and pepper according to your preference.
Give it a final blend to mix everything together.
Blending time will very much depend on your desired consistency. I like my pesto quite chunky and rustic, so I stop short of processing it until it is completely smooth.
But the most important thing is to make it your way baby!
Pesto is one of my fave things to make and eat, and I have so many different recipes using different herbs and nuts. Keep your eye on the blog for some of my awesome pesto recipes coming up!