Presto, it’s pesto!

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Tonight I made pesto for the first time in a couple of years. Not sure why I waited so long. Pesto is delish!

The recipe I used is from The Moosewood Cookbook. Here’s my copy of that cookbook. Can you tell it’s well-used?


Here is the recipe, it says it makes enough for six servings, but I think it makes more than that. I guess it depends on how much pesto you think is a single serving. Since pesto is a strong flavor, I think less is more.

Homemade Pesto

  • 3 packed cups basil leaves, removed from stems (it’s way more fun if you grow your own and use it for this recipe!)
  • 2 large cloves fresh garlic
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, walnuts, almonds or a combination
  • 3/4 cup (packed) fresh chopped parsley (it’s way more fun if you grow your own of this, too)
  • 3/4 cup fresh-grated Parmesan cheese (do yourself a favor and don’t use the stuff in the green can)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (I used extra virgin)
  • 1/4 cup melted butter (nope, I don’t do this, I add an extra 1/4 cup olive oil)
  • salt to taste

The Moosewood recipe gives directions for a blender – I use a food processor and add everything but the leaves and oil and start whirring. Then I keep loading the leaves and oil and whir until it’s a smooth paste. It’s smooth, but a little chunky. Don’t go crazy trying to make it be as smooth as yogurt or anything. An interesting tidbit about pesto, if you’ve never made it before. It goes from bright green to olive green as it hits the air. Kind of like what an avocado does. Not sure of the science behind that, but it is what it is.

Once you are done, put a dollop on whatever you want, but it is especially good on noodles!

Tonight we cooked up Trader Joe’s Lemon Pappardelle noodles (they are the best!), topped them with grilled zucchini, chopped (my next door neighbor’s zucchini), then the dollop of pesto.

pesto dinner

Was it good? You bet it was! Andy was heard saying more than once, “this is really good!” And he went back for seconds.

There was enough left over for my lunch tomorrow, and we froze the extra pesto in an ice cube tray. It will be nice popping out pesto in the winter!

If it lasts that long. I think I’ll have to make some more batches.


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