Homemade Pesto in 3 Easy Steps and Recipe Ideas
|Salmon baked with pesto on a bed of quinoa.|
As I stare out the window here in Edmonton, I am quickly realizing that Fall is swooping in! With the colder days coming just around the corner, I enjoy making more hot meals for dinner. So, having a jar of fresh pesto on hand is perfect for adding a little more texture and flavour to a dinner item. Plus, with a basil plant like mine (pictured below), I need to keep making more pesto!
Making your own pesto is quite easy and you only need a few ingredients. Having a food processor is also super handy.
|Making pesto: basil, toasted almonds, hard cheese, salt & pepper and extra olive virgin oil.|
- 1/2 cup basil
- 1/4 cup toasted almonds or walnuts
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 50g hard cheese cut into cubes (provolone/asiago/parmesan)
- 1-2 cloves garlic (depends on how spicy you want it)
- salt and pepper to taste
1. Add the basil, roasted almonds, garlic cloves, cheese, and about 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the food processor.
|Throwing all the pesto ingredients into the food processor.|
|Process all of the ingredients to make pesto.|
3. Turn on the food processor and blend all the ingredients together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Once the mixture reaches your desired consistency (either chunky or more finely processed) you are ready to use the pesto.
|Close-up of the homemade pesto.|
Ideas for Using Pesto
Make baked pesto salmon. After making the pesto, spread by the spoonfuls onto the salmon.
|Salmon topped with homemade pesto, ready for the oven.|
|Bake the salmon at 425F for approximately 15 minutes.|
|Baked pesto salmon on a bed of quinoa.|
Another option is to make thin crust pizzas and use the pesto as a topping.
There are so many great options for homemade pesto. I also enjoy mixing it into pasta, spreading it like a condiment on burgers, hotdogs and sandwiches for lunch. I have also found that using toasted almonds in the pesto gives it quite a different taste compared to toasted walnuts. Try out the two types of nuts and see what you like better. What else would you do with pesto?