Pesto! One of my favorite things to eat, one of my least favorite things to buy. I feel like it’s so expensive for how little you get. The other day I discovered how easy it is to make your own and I’m never ever turning back. Plus, customized pesto is like Build a Bear for adults, right?!
You need the basics– parmasean cheese, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic for each recipe but then the fun comes in! You can add any greens you want (spinach, basil, arugula, the possibilities are endless) + any nut you want (walnut, pine, cashew, pistachio, peanut? Now I’m dreaming of a Thai pesto!) and any extras you may want to toss in. Today I’m keeping it simple but I’m already scheming up my next pesto for y’all.
I used this Ninja Chopper to make our pesto and it was seriously a breeze! This was one of our amazing wedding presents we received and at first I was worried I wouldn’t use it that often, so wrong. It’s basically a smaller, easier version of my food processor. It’s nice when I’m not needing to make a large bulk of things vs. my food processor I still use for hummus and things like that. If you don’t have a Ninja Chopper or Food Processor, you can also use a blender! I highly suggest investing in a Ninja Chopper though, it’s only $24!
Starting with arugula as your base makes for a peppery pesto, it pairs so well with the lemony notes. I love having pesto on hand for quick meals or an Italian date night. It’s even better that it’s great to make ahead!
Makes 2 Cups
1 Cup Arugula
1/3 Cup Walnuts
1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese
Juice from 1/2 a Lemon
1 Tbsp Minced Garlic
Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper to Taste
1. Combine everything in your blender/chopper
2. Store in the fridge for up to a week
It’s seriously that easy! I felt like I was cheating you out of a post with that little bit of instructions, so I’m also sharing five recipes that I love that include pesto.
1. Naan Flatbread Pizzas — For a fun and sweet twist, add sliced dried figs. SO YUMMY
3. Mixed with Butternut Squash Ravioli — I buy this one from Whole Foods and it’s so yummy
4. Mixed in your scrambled eggs with cherry tomatoes!
5. Spread over chicken breasts with mozzarella cheese and sliced tomatoes and baked in the oven! One pan dinner happiness!
I’m constantly finding new ways to use it, too. Last night I tried a baked cheesy pesto pasta and it was heavenly! I’ll share the recipe here soon. If you try it out, I would love to know what you think or which combo you try! xo