Pesto is that sometimes creamy, sometimes chunky, but always delicious green sauce that can accompany your pasta. Its really quite easy to make from scratch and can be incorporated into many dishes beyond pasta. Pesto makes a great spread on whole grain bread and is a delicious substitute for traditional pizza sauce. The basic ingredients used to make traditional pesto make it easy to play around with the recipe, allowing you to experiment with new flavors. Here at Great Harvest in Mentor we have a couple recipes to get you started.
If you've never made traditional pesto, it's quite easy to make. You will need:
- 3 cups of fresh basil leaves
- ½ cup of parmesan cheese, preferably fresh
- ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup of pine nuts
- a couple of garlic cloves
- salt and pepper to taste
Combine the basil, cheese, garlic and nuts in a blender or food processor. Slowly add in the oil and continue with the salt and pepper. Blend until you reach your desired consistency. Remember that if you don't have pine nuts on hand, you can use walnuts as a substitute.
Dairy free pesto
If you're unable to enjoy traditional pesto because of the dairy it contains, there are ways to get around that. For dairy free pesto you will need:
- 1 cup of basil
- 2 cups of spinach
- ½ cup of pine nuts
- ⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3-5 garlic cloves
- juice of one small lemon
Combine the basil, spinach, nuts, garlic and lemon juice in a blender or food processor. Slowly incorporate the extra virgin olive oil as you blend. Add in the salt and pepper and blend until you reach your desired consistency.
Remember that you can play around with the ingredients you use depending on the flavors and consistency you want. Be sure to check out more recipe ideas, like this one for traditional Italian pasta and breadcrumbs.
Here at Great Harvest, we handcraft our bread daily using ingredients that not only taste great, but also make you feel great. For the best bread in Mentor, contact Great Harvest of Mentor at (440) 205- 8199 and ask about all of our whole grain options.