Homemade Pesto

Do you know you can make Pesto with any greens? If you have restricted yourself to just basil, then move away from that and consider any greens you can fine. Homemade Pesto is one of the best green condiment that I always stock up for quick meal on busy days.

I learnt making Pesto long back and for a very long time, I restricted to the traditional basil pesto with pine nuts.

Then I moved from pine nuts to walnuts. We eat Pesto a lot and I figured using walnut will be a much better budget friendly option than pine nuts.

Soon I realized that this particular green goddess doesn’t need a strict recipe and we can play around with the greens any way we like.

So, I started making pesto more often and with several different kind of greens I can find my hands on.

Make Pesto with any greens you find handy

Homemade Pesto

Making Pesto is so easy and quick that you shouldn’t really rely on the store-bought ones. Make it fresh in small batches.

You can definitely make a big batch and freeze it too in ice tray.

What is Pesto?

It is one of the most famous sauce from Genoa, Italy. Its name to the Italian word “pestare,” which means “to crush or pound.”

A great article to learn where it all started!

The traditional way of making pesto is to pound the pine nuts, with basil with a clove of garlic, extra virgin olive oil and parmesan cheese. Some even prefers to just finely chop instead using a very sharp knife.

The modern way is of course by using a food processor or a blender.

What Greens I used for my Homemade Pesto

I used all kind of greens from my garden:

  • Sage
  • Cilantro
  • Baby Kale
  • Arugula
  • Basil
  • Spinach
  • Nasturtium

Other Ingredients:

  • Walnut
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • garlic clove
  • salt
  • Lemon juice
Assorted Greens from my Garden

Texture of Homemade Pesto

I personally don’t use a blender as it makes the texture too smooth. We like the texture to be a little course and ideally that is how it should be, so it holds only to the pasta and gnocchi or bread.

I always use lemon juice to Pesto as it helps to retain the gorgeous green color for days.

Storing Homemade Pesto

I always make pesto in big bulk and store it in the fridge or refrigerator.

Store in a glass container if you are storing in the fridge. It will last for couple weeks. If you want to store it longer, then store in a zip punch or freeze in ice tray and then one frozen, store the cubes in the zip pouch.

Homemade Easy Pesto with any greens

10 ways to use Pesto

  • Pasta – The most obvious and popular way to use pesto
  • Risotto
  • Gnocchi
  • Layer on grilled meat or fish
  • Marinate chicken with pesto and grill
  • Use in Bread – Try this very delicious Pesto Pull Apart Bread
  • Use in Focaccia
  • As Pizza sauce
  • Toss in your potato salad or any other salad dressing
  • Add on your breakfast toast

These are just the few, and I use sure there are endless interesting ways you can use this amazing Italian sauce.

Making Pesto is so easy and quick that I never buy store bought. It is one of the most commonly used condiments in my house, and we all love it, both traditional and non-traditional way.

Homemade Pesto

Homemade Pesto

Yield: Makes 2 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Do you know you can make Pesto with any greens? If you have restricted yourself to just basil, then move away from that and consider any greens you can fine. Homemade Pesto is one of the best green condiment that I always stock up for quick meal on busy days.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups assorted greens (I used sage, cilantro, basil, baby kale, nasturtium, spinach)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup walnut
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (you can use zest too)
  • salt to taste
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Place everything in a food processor and run the processor until it all comes together. I like it the texture little course, but you can change as per your liking.
  2. Depending on the variety of greens and nuts you are using, you might need more or less oil.
  3. Once done, store in a clean dry glass jar. Pour little more oil on top.

Notes

10 ways to use Pesto

  • Pasta - The most obvious and popular way to use pesto
  • Risotto
  • Gnocchi
  • Layer on grilled meat or fish
  • Marinate chicken with pesto and grill
  • Use in Bread - Try this very delicious Pesto Pull Apart Bread
  • Use in Focaccia
  • As Pizza sauce
  • Toss in your potato salad or any other salad dressing
  • Add on your breakfast toast

Make Pesto with any greens you find handy
Did you enjoy this Homemade Pesto? Share your creation by tagging @playfulcooking on Instagram with the #playfulcooking and I will re-share in my story!

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