I’ll be honest, when I think of pesto, I generally think of a basil-based chunky spread. But that’s because it’s the most popular flavor on grocery store shelves and at our favorite restaurants. What most people don’t realize is, there are so many variations of pesto, basil and parsley pesto being only two of them.
Last year, Bon Appetit showed us that that we can make pesto out of anything. Really, almost anything. Did you know that you can even use arugula?!
According to Bon Appetit, you can pick from a number of greens, nuts, and cheeses then add in garlic, salt and lemon juice, if you so choose. So your probably wondering why I didn’t just go ahead and make traditional pesto with basil. If you haven’t noticed, buying basil in bulk is not easy around here. If you’re lucky, you can find a whole basil plant, use up all the leaves, attempt to grow it in your garden and then kill it with your lack of a green thumb. Or, if you’re a little less lucky, you can find those little plastic packets with 3 sprigs of basil for something like $3. It would probably take at least 10 packets to get enough for 3 cups. Parsley, on the other hand, is much easier to find in bulk, and also much cheaper. I mean they don’t really give you the option to buy anything less than a portioned out bunch. Faced with this reality, I considered looking into growing my own herbs and vegetables– but that’s a consideration and discussion for another day. At that point, it was a no-brainer. I was experimenting with parsley pesto.
- 3 cups Parsley
- 3-5 cloves Garlic
- 1/4 cup Olive Oil
- 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
- 1/2 cup Pine Nuts
- Salt, to taste.
- Toast the pine nuts by placing on a sheet pan and broiling until lightly browned. Watch the oven carefully, as pine nuts toast quickly.
- Place parsley, pine nuts, and garlic in a food processor.
- Process until smooth, or until desired consistency.
- Add parmesan cheese, salt and olive oil
- Process until smooth
- Serve on your favorite pasta, or garlicky toast
Toasting the nuts ahead of time adds some extra flavor. However, you can use raw pine nuts