In store-bought pestos, you may find unnecessary salt, potato flakes, sugar, lactic acid, ascorbic acid, a lower quality oil blend instead of only olive oil, dried garlic instead of fresh garlic, and cheese culture instead of real cheese, iodized salt, and potato starch.
It's simple and convenient to make pesto. It will taste better than store-bought, and it's better for your health. All you need is fresh garlic, fresh herbs, olive oil, and sea salt. You can add nuts, parmesan cheese, lemon, or cherry tomatoes. Here is a popular recipe, along with modifications and serving ideas.
1/2 cup fresh pistachios shelled
1 1/2 cups radish leaves or carrot leaves ( I usually use all of the leaves from 1 bunch of radishes- wash well)
About a cup of fresh basil – I don’t measure, this is a guideline
1/4 cup parsley
2-3 cloves fresh garlic
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice- or to taste
Zest from 1 lemon
About a 1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan
Using a mini food processor (which blends well and is easy to clean up), blend the nuts and garlic until minced, then add the herbs, olive oil, lemon, and salt. Blend again until well combined. Add cheese and blend again. Taste. Add more basil, lemon, or salt as you like.
On toasted French bread
With fresh tomatoes
On pan-seared steak, baked chicken, or fish
On steamed or roasted vegetables
As a sandwich spread
As a dip for socca
On radish or cucumber slices
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