Friday, July 8, 2011

An Everything Pesto

First the winner of the Eversave giveaway is fellow blogger Susie!!   Congrats!  Hope you have fun buying some delicious meats at McKinnon’s!

Usually when I think of pesto, I think of the classic version with basil, pinenuts, parmesan cheese, garlic, and olive oil.  Simple yet incredibly flavorful and delicious.  Also a great way to use up an excess of basil growing in the garden.

My “problem” right now is that I have an excess of multiple herbs in the garden!!

Also some older hunks of cheese that I’d like to use up.

Lucky for me, Pesto is actually incredibly versatile and came be made from many different ingredients. 

Even in it’s classic form I almost always use walnuts over pinenuts, as I usually have them at home already.


First I grated approximately a cup of cheese, maybe less.  I used some aged gouda as well as Pecorino Romano.  


3 – 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped in half (they will later go through the food processor).


Fresh herbs!  I used basil, oregano, parsley, and thyme!   I even added some baby spinach that I had in the fridge.  You can use as much or as little as you want…I used small “bunches” of each, and a “handful” of spinach.


The list of ingredients is as followed, and really they are all approximate:

  • 1/2 cup nuts, I used walnuts.
  • big bunch of herbs – you can use 1 herb only, or multiple varieties
  • 3/4 cup – cup grated aged/drier cheese such as parmesan, Romano, aged gouda.
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • pasta water (a few tablespoons worth)
  1. Wash and dry herbs
  2. grate cheese
  3. In a small sauté pan, heat olive oil over med-low heat, and add garlic.  Cook garlic for just a few minutes, DON’T brown the garlic.  Cooking the garlic slightly just takes the sharp bite from it, but still leaves a strong garlic flavor. 
  4. Place herbs, cheese, nuts, garlic and olive oil into a food processor. 
  5. Blend until a thick sauce is formed
  6. If serving with pasta, add pasta water 1T at a time, to the pesto to add some creaminess, and thin it out for easier spreading.

  IMG_9881 IMG_9882

We enjoyed our herb pesto with a mix of pasta, grilled veggies (chopped), and arugula all tossed together.


As well as a caprese salad.  Enjoyed al fresco.


There is also almost always extra pesto, which you can freeze for a quick dinner another day!


  1. I made kale pesto last nite!!! Love pesto : )

  2. That pasta salad looks delicious! I've actually been meaning to make arugula pesto.

  3. Mmmmmm, love the swap of walnuts instead of pinenuts.

  4. Yum! We make a ton of pesto, and we also always sub walnuts for the pine nuts. Our basil plants just keep growing leaves like crazy. Most recently, I put some shredded zucchini in the pesto and that was good too! I like really flexible recipes :)

  5. got some basil leaves from a neighbor and i got walnuts...time for pesto here!

  6. YUM! I agree- walnuts rock in pesto! You should totally use your leftover pesto and make pesto potato salad! You could throw in whatever veggies you have on hand

  7. Ohh yay! I'm so excited to see my name!! What's better than winning meat?? Seriously! More BBQs in my future :) I LOVE pesto on basically everything and yours looks awesome with the walnuts!


  8. Mmm...I love taking classic recipes and putting my own spin on them...the pesto and those salads look delicious!

  9. Pesto is one of my favorite ways to use leftover greens. Like you, I'll substitute the cheese, greens and nuts with whatever I have on hand. In fact, I think your blog post has inspired me to make some spinach pesto today!