Presto, it’s pesto!!  We LOVE pesto and always make several batches of home-made pesto during the summer when gorgeous green basil and other fresh herbs are plentiful!!  It’s a perfect opportunity to make often and make plenty so you can freeze this ever-popular uncooked sauce into ice cube trays or muffin tins to savor throughout the year!  Classic pesto uses pine nuts, but they’re incredibly expensive! Luckily, we actually prefer using slivered almonds most of the time!  Much less pricey and we really like the texture.  Pesto is such a fave for Olive Us and incredibly easy to adapt and play with the flavours, combinations, and ways to enjoy it!  This delicious homemade pesto can transform so many dishes… so give it a try!

Olive Us Pesto recipe:

1 1/2 ounces Parmesan Reggiano or Grana Padano (shredded or cut into 1/2″ cubes), approximately approximately 1/4 cup grated… (admittedly, we sometimes use more!)*

1/3 cup slivered almonds (pine nuts, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, pistachios, hemp seeds, pecans, etc.)

2 cloves of garlic, peeled

1/2 tsp Olive Us Himalayan pink sea salt

1 1/2 cups packed fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup Olive Us UP extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

In food processor or blender, combine almonds (or pine nuts, etc.), cheese, and garlic then pulse until roughly ground (or finely if you prefer).  Add the salt, half the basil and pulse again. Add the other half of the basil and pulse again. Then drizzle in EVOO and pulse until smooth (about 15-20 seconds or to desired consistency).  If desired, add more cheese, salt, garlic or any ingredient to adjust to your own taste preference!

For an extra garlicky taste we sometimes substitute part of the EVOO for Olive Us Garlic olive oil! Other variations can include parsley and cilantro; basil & arugula… ). Create your own favorite and share it with Olive Us or keep it simple with this easy classic recipe!

Serving suggestions are almost infinite when it comes to enjoying this garlicky delicious pesto!  Here’s a few to get you started:

  • Toss pesto with cooked hot pasta (check out the incredible selection at Olive Us!) or veggie pasta
  • Use instead of tomato sauce on a pizza crust or flat bread
  • Use on crostini with fresh tomatoes or with bruschetta
  • Add to tomato sauce, pasta sauce, etc.
  • Serve over cooked eggs, grilled chicken, or fish
  • Add to mashed potatoes, cooked rice, or quinoa
  • Use as topping on vegetables or squash
  • Mix with Greek yogurt and/or mayo as a dip
  • Serve on baked brie

Variations for greens:

  • Mint
  • Cilantro
  • Parsley
  • Dill
  • Spinach

Variations for nuts:

  • Pine nuts
  • Almonds
  • Pecans
  • Pepitas (toasted pumpkin seeds)
  • Walnuts
  • Hemp hearts
  • Pistachios

Optional additions:

  • Sun dried tomatoes
  • Artichoke hearts
  • *Replace the parmesan with nutritional yeast for a vegetarian option
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Roasted red pepper or charred jalapeno
  • Dried pepper flakes

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