5 Ingredient Friday: Pesto Edition


I’m going to go ahead and dedicate this post to my food processor. Medium-sized and sturdy, it can handle nearly every job I throw at it. (I only say nearly because I don’t want to jinx myself here.) Specifically, it is the essential tool for making one of my all-time favorite condiments (not just for pasta, folks!): pesto. I’ll call it a condiment because it’s way more versatile than something like ketchup for me.

When I make a batch, I like to freeze small portions to keep it fresh. It’s easy to defrost quickly if you submerge the container in warm water. I store mine in small jars or good tupperware containers.

A standard pesto involves basil, pine nuts, garlic, parmesan and olive oil but it’s pretty common these days to swap in any number of other things. Sun-dried tomatoes and macadamia nuts instead of¬† basil and pine nuts is a stand out variation -¬† fancy, and ridiculously tasty.

I used walnuts in mine recently because I love them and usually have a bunch on hand.

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And with the help of my pretty new balcony basil plant, I hope to keep the fresh pesto coming all summer long.

Some ideas for an abundance of pesto:

  • Pasta: incorporated with hot or cold pasta dishes, layered in lasagna
  • Sandwiches: on a grilled cheese is a favorite
  • Salads: Mixed with some extra olive oil and a touch of good balsamic as a dressing for a salad or drizzled on tomatoes and fresh mozzarella as a variation on a Caprese salad
  • Pizza: generously spread over the base
  • Potatoes: as a topping for a baked potato, or whipped in with a mash with roasted garlic
  • Roasted or Steamed Veggies: over Broccoli, zucchini, carrots, etc. and topped with extra parmesan
  • Eggs: mixed in with scrambled eggs (green eggs n’ ham!)
  • Soup: as a garnish (voila, soupe au pistou)
  • As a filling: mixed with ricotta to be used as a filling for zucchini flowers or stuffed mushrooms
  • Fish or Chicken: as a topping and/or marinade
  • As a spread: on crackers as a part of a cheese platter
  • Burger: as a topping (lamb burger with a mint pesto? oh yes.)

And now, on to our 5-ingredient pesto…

Walnut-Basil Pesto
1 1/2 cups basil
1/4 toasted walnuts
2 cloves of garlic
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
5 tablespoons olive oil

Toast the walnuts in a dry pan on a medium heat until golden and fragrant. Place the first 4 ingredients and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a food processor and process, add the remaining olive oil slowly and process until everything is very finely chopped and combined. Add extra olive oil if needed.

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Oh hey! Before you go…

On the kitchen playlist: M83, Album: Hurry up We’re Dreaming

Speaking of music, just found this awesome blog thanks to Saveur.com: Turntable Kitchen - awesome concept, recipes and music

Can’t wait to try: Pure Pops at the Bondi Farmer’s Market tomorrow. I’ve had my eye on them for a couple of weeks now!

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5 Responses to “5 Ingredient Friday: Pesto Edition”

  1. I made pesto recently too, though I’m using that term very loosely – there’s nothing traditional about mine. I like the sound of walnuts in yours!

  2. The walnuts were good – not too crazy, but just a little different!

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