When I think of pesto, I instantly think of my parents home. Growing up, homemade pesto was a sauce we often enjoyed. My dad, like a true Italian, would go out back to the garden and pick fresh basil and within minutes we would have fresh homemade perfect pesto in front of us! A few ways we like to enjoy Dad’s fresh garden pesto is on pasta dishes, baked chicken, baked salmon, crostinis, and mixed into homemade hummus. Whenever I go home to visit my parents, we always make some sort of pesto dish. It’s tradition!
Pesto is quite versatile, you can’t go wrong with how you chose to enjoy this green and hearty sauce. Pesto is traditionally used in Italian dishes and originated from Genoa, the capital of Liguria, Italy. It’s traditionally made in a mortar and pestle, however, you can easily make it in high-speed blender, or food processor.
A few ways to enjoy pesto…
- My #1 favourite way…in pasta!
- Use pesto as a dip for raw cut veggies.
- Bake chicken, salmon, or tofu in pesto sauce.
- Spread pesto on your avocado toast.
- Blend pesto into homemade hummus recipes.
- Spread pesto on top of hearty crackers or crostini and top it with tomato or any of your favourite appy ingredients.
- Use pesto as a salad dressing by adding apple cider vinegar or more oil to it.
The power of basil…
Basil is the main ingredient in pesto sauce. It comes from the mint family and is known for being a nutrient dense aromatic herb that delivers powerful and strong flavour to recipes (best enjoyed fresh). Did you know basil is known for it’s immune boosting properties? There are many different kinds of basil that come in different varieties. One of the most researched types of basil is holy basil. Holy basil is known for being an excellent healing herb that delivers powerful anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It’s also a powerful adaptogen, enhancing the body’s natural response to emotional + physical stressors. A few vitamins and minerals that basil provides include vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, and potassium.
One of my favourite ways to enjoy pesto is nothing fancy. I like to mix pesto into organic black bean pasta and top it with some vegan parmesan (I use ParmaVeg, so good!). It’s such a simple, nutritious meal. The pesto delivers a ton of flavour + nutrition, like healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. The organic black bean pasta comes with an excellent source of dietary fibre and plant protein. Delicious + simple.
Today’s recipe is a popular one my Dad follows, so you wont be dissapointed. I highly recommend you give this perfect pesto recipe a try (he does too)!
Hearty, versatile, flavourful, nutritious + delicious Perfect Pesto
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves, washed + spin dried
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp walnuts
- 1 tbsp pine nuts
- 1/4 tsp Himalayan salt
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Note – Replace the parmesan cheese with a vegan parmesan to keep this recipe 100% plant based if you desire.
- Blend all ingredients together in a food processor at high speed until pureed.
- Keep pesto stored in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.
Recommendation – Make a big batch of pesto to keep stored away in the freezer to take out on another day for another recipe! I get so excited when I remember I have homemade pesto stored away, it’s such a flavourful + nutritious sauce to add into recipes.
I hope you enjoyed today’s home inspired pesto recipe. Are you a pesto lover? Let me know the ways you like to enjoy this hearty green sauce, and be sure to let me know if you gave this Perfect Pesto recipe a try!