Pesto is one of those sauces that has such versatility. It is super easy to make and almost completely foolproof. Once you get the hang of making pesto there are endless possibilities. The hardest part of making pesto is cleaning the equipment, or at least until last year when it got a whole lot easier.
I love kitchen gadgets and I have had a lot over the years and will attest some are completely worth it, others are a waste, and others though necessary are a pain. The food processor is one of those. I have it because I need it though I cringe at times when I have to use it due to how cumbersome it is to clean. There are so many parts and amazingly what I need to use it for knows exactly how to stick to evey little hole and crevice.
So how did it get easier?
You guessed it that amazing machine that many of us have invested in or wish we could have if it were on the NYSE, the vitamix can make a beautiful pesto. The even more beautiful part it is one piece of equipment and easy to clean.
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
3 medium garlic cloves
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 cups fresh basil leaves
All above ingredients needs to be combined. When using the vitamin to make pesto, you simple add all ingredients in the order listed. Turn on the vitamin and slowly increase up to variable 6 or 7. Careful not to over process as a nice pesto takes on a slightly bumpy consistency and it is easy to over process and end up with a puree. Though great tasting not a true pesto.
If using a food processor, you want to add all ingredients except the olive oil. Combine and then slowly add the oil to mix in.
Pesto This link will allow you to print the recipe for Classic Pesto
Note: The pictured pesto is a variation of this classic pesto recipe. I used 1 1/2 cups fresh basil, 1/2 cup baby spinach for a milder and slightly more nutritious pesto.
Now you have a beautiful pesto sauce that can be used in a variety of ways – garnish meat, tossed with pasta, spread as a condiment, or as we used it last week the base to a pizza.
Be sure to check out how to use this fresh pesto to create a fabulous Shrimp Pesto Pizza