Contained below: the power to convert your favorite leafy green and nut of choice into a robust pesto ready for marinating whatever meat, fish, or veggie your heart desires, serving as a dip to your favorite vessel, or dressing up any pasta dish you dream up.
Servings / Work Time
2 Servings / 15 Minutes
- 2 cups packed basil, kale or carrot tops
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ grated cheese (parmesan or pecorino)
- ¼ cup nuts, crushed
- 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
First you’re gonna want to decide where you’re taking this pesto. Of course, there’s the classic basil, pine nut, and parmigiano reggiano combo—but equally tasty options abound. For greens, consider cilantro, kale, or carrot tops fair game. For nuts, you can sub in walnuts, almonds, or pistachios. For cheeses, try pecorino, asiago, or romano — the possibilities are truly endless.
If you happen to have a food processor or blender handy, you can skip the steps below and instead just throw your garlic, nuts, cheese and greens together and pulse until fine. Then slowly add your olive oil while blending, until your pesto is nice and smooth.
If you don’t have a processor or blender...
Start with your garlic. Crush two cloves between the flat surface of your Chef's Knife and Oak Cutting Board. Finely chop until your cloves have almost become a lumpy paste. Throw them into your Mixing Bowl.
Moving onto your nuts, the goal is to get them as finely crushed as possible. This can be accomplished with just your knife and cutting board, but if you want to save some time, seal the nuts in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin or wine bottle to crush until fine. Toss them into your mixing bowl as well.
Grate the cheese over your Mixing Bowl on the smallest surface available (a microplane is great for this if you have one handy).
Working in batches, chop your chosen greens until very fine.
Use a fork to combine your garlic, nuts, cheese and greens in the small mixing bowl. Slowly add your oil with a fork or whisk until you’ve achieved a smooth, even consistency.
That’s it. Custom pesto accomplished. Use with reckless abandon immediately, or store in an airtight container in your fridge for up to 5 days, or your freezer for up to 3 months.
If you take one thing with you from this recipe, let it be the ratios. 1:2:2:8, that is 1 part nuts, 2 parts oil, 2 parts grating cheese, 8 parts leafy greens or herbs. If you opt for a more rigid green, like kale for example, you’ll first want to remove the inner stem of your leaves and boil for about 5 minutes before chopping up or adding to the food processor.