Recipes

Our Favorite Pestos

Basil Pesto Recipes using Food Processor

Pestos are essentially sauces made from fresh herbs, nuts and cheese. Nearly every cultural cuisine includes some form of pesto. These are some classics but once you recognize the basic ratios, you can start to create your own unique style. All you need are some fresh ingredients and a food processor. It’s super easy.

Basil Pesto

This Italian standard is perfect for pasta. Chicken and shrimp can be added for a heartier dish. We also use it as a sandwich spread. For example, slices of tomato and mozzarella on a rustic bread with a smear of basil pesto makes an excellent sandwich. We’ve also baked chicken breasts in pesto and served them with roasted potatoes and pesto makes a great dip or bruschetta topping.

Ingredients

  • 2 c fresh basil leaves, firmly packed
  • 3 Tbsp pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4-1/2 c olive oil
  • 1/2 c Parmesan cheese

Preparation

  1. Combine basil, nuts and garlic in a food processor until finely minced As the machine runs, slowly add oil until smooth
  2. Add cheese and pulse, just until combined.

* we prefer to sauté the garlic for a couple of minutes first to remove the bitter edge. Raw garlic can bother some people’s throats.

German Style Pesto

This one is great as a sauce for boiled vegetables served with a roasted meat.

It’s also terrific on bruschetta. No nuts in this one but you won’t miss them.

German Style Pesto

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 c watercress
  • 2 c packed parsley
  • 1 c finely chopped chives
  • 1 c packed sorrel
  • 1/2 c buttermilk
  • 1/2 c plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 c sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp walnut oil
  • 1 hard boiled egg yolk
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Preparation

Place ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.

Cilantro Pesto

We love this one with either fish or chicken in a warm tortilla.

cilantro pesto

Ingredients

  • 2 c packed cilantro
  • 2/3 c olive oil
  • 1/3 c toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/3 c grated Parmesan
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic

Preparation

Pulse all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

Pesto Calabrese

This southern Italian pesto is perfect for bruschetta.

Pesto Calbrese

Ingredients

  • 1 small eggplant, cubed
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1/2 small onion, minced
  • 2 plum tomatoes, minced
  • 1/2 c ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 c packed basil

Preparation

Place the eggplant in a colander and toss with 2 tsp salt Let it sit for 20 min Drain and place on paper towels Heat oil in a large skillet Add peppers and onions Heat, stirring frequently,  for 10 min until soft and lightly caramelized Add eggplant and heat for another 8 min, stirring occasionally Add tomatoes for another 5 min Transfer to a food processor Add ricotta and basil Process until smooth.

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

This one is great with pasta and a grilled fish white fish like branzino.

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

Ingredients

  • 1 c olive oil
  • 1/2 c toasted blanched almonds, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
  • 20 pitted black olives in oil
  • 10 sun dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped

Preparation

Process all of the ingredients in a food processor until smooth

Enjoy your Pestos!

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