Pesto Sauce Recipe. All Variations
Posted on 29th of February, 2012 by Lévana
The perennial favorite is based on basil, olive oil, and toasted walnuts; but we have seen it recast with a different herb or nut, and tasting just as delicious and interesting. Use not only as a pasta sauce but as topping for cooked chicken or fish, or a dip. I find that toasting the nuts intensifies the pesto’s flavor, so don’t skip that step!
2 cups basil leaves, packed
½ cup good olive oil
1∕3 cup toasted walnuts (about 15 minutes in a preheated 300 °F oven)
4 garlic cloves
Salt and pepper to taste
Process all ingredients in a food processor until smooth but still a little chunky, not a complete paste. Makes about 2 cups. Store refrigerated in a glass jar.
In the same proportions:
- Substitute parsley, cilantro, mint, spinach, arugala, and watercress for the basil (I loved the watercress-arugala combo)
- Substitute pecans, pine nuts, hazelnuts, and pistachios for the walnuts.
- Add some freshly grated Parmesan. In this case, omit the salt.