Pesto is so versatile, you’ll never run out of ways to enjoy it. Toss spoonfuls of this no-cook sauce with hot pasta or steamed vegetables, use it as a spread on sandwiches and wraps, or serve as a dip with raw veggies or pita chips. You can easily adapt pesto to your budget by substituting sale-priced nuts, herbs/greens and cheese, or what you’ve got on hand or in the garden.
1/4 cup nuts, such as walnuts, pine nuts or sunflower kernels
2 cups packed chopped raw herbs/greens, such as basil, kale or parsley
1/2 cup grated hard cheese, such as Parmesan, Pecorino, or Romano
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil/divided
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon water (optional)
2 cloves garlic (optional)
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
If using immediately, add all the remaining oil and pulse until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a large serving bowl and mix in the cheese.
If freezing, transfer to an air-tight container and drizzle remaining oil over the top. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw and stir in cheese.