I’m all over homemade pesto these days. It may sound complicated at first, but it is so easy, especially if you have a food processor (or even better, a mini processor or baby bullet). Homemade tops store-bought varieties for so many reasons… they are fresh, fragrant and packed with nutrient-rich ingredients that leave you with a healthy and tasty pesto minus all the unnecessary amounts of oil and processed cheese. I opted for a hard goats cheese since it is easier to digest (and because I love goats cheese) but you can use any hard cheese of your own preference including parmesan, which is the type of cheese most traditional pesto recipes feature.
- as a salad dressing topped on fresh salad or steamed veggies
- as a dip served with crackers (try my chia seed crackers) & veggie sticks
- as garnish for grilled chicken or meatballs (try my vegetarian lentil meatballs)
- as a healthy spread in sandwiches (I love the combination of tomato, mozzarella and pesto in one of my gluten free chia seed sandwich thins)
- ½ cup fresh basil, chopped
- ½ cup spinach, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced/crushed
- ¼ cup roasted almonds, chopped
- 3 tbsp fresh pressed lemon juice
- ½ tsp sea salt + pepper to taste
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 30 gm (1 ounce) hard goats cheese (or parmesan), finely grated
- Water to thin (optional)
- Place chopped basil and spinach along with garlic, almonds, lemon juice and olive oil in food processor and pulse until somewhat smooth until it reaches a pesto-like consistency (I did this in a Vitamix blender on low for about a minute). If you don't have a food processor you can do this using a pestle and mortar.
- Transfer to a bowl and stir in the grated goats cheese (I used a parmesan grater).
- Add salt & pepper to taste.
- Add water or extra olive oil to thin if needed.
The picture below shows a thinner, more dressing-like version of this pesto, which is perfect for salads and other vegetable dishes where you prefer a thinner pesto. Simply add water or olive oil (or a combination of both) until you reach the desired consistency.