top of page

The Pesto Manifesto: A Love Letter to the Ultimate Green Sauce

Homemade Almond Pesto Recipe

Pesto, that vibrant, fragrant concoction that can elevate a dish to something extraordinary with just a dollop. It’s like a magic potion in your culinary arsenal, ready to transform the mundane into the magnificent. And the best part? It's delightfully simple to whip up and versatile enough to jazz up a myriad of dishes. 

What is pesto? 

At its heart, traditional pesto is a blend of basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan (or Pecorino) cheese, and olive oil, all crushed together to create a rich, emerald sauce that's both nutty and herbal at the same time. But why stop there? The beauty of pesto lies in its adaptability. Swap out basil for arugula, spinach, or even kale for a peppery or earthy twist. Ditch the pine nuts for walnuts, almonds, or sunflower seeds. The possibilities are as endless as they are delicious. And for our vegan friends, nutritional yeast can stand in for the cheese, ensuring no one misses out on the pesto party. 

What type of basil do you use in pesto?

What type of basil do you use in pesto? 

When crafting the perfect pesto, the type of basil you use can significantly influence the flavor and aroma of the final product. Traditionally, Genovese basil is the go-to variety for authentic Italian pesto. Originating from the Genoa area in the Liguria region of Italy, Genovese basil boasts large, tender leaves with a bright green color and a sweet, slightly peppery flavor that blends seamlessly with the other key ingredients of pesto: pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, and olive oil. 

Genovese basil's robust flavor profile makes it the ideal choice for pesto, as it stands up well to the strong flavors of garlic and Parmesan. Its large leaves also make it easier to harvest and process into pesto. While other varieties like Sweet Basil or Thai Basil can be used, they will impart a different flavor profile to the pesto. Sweet Basil is milder and may result in a more subtly flavored pesto, while Thai Basil, with its anise-like flavor, can create a pesto that diverges significantly from the traditional Genovese pesto taste. 

For those looking to experiment, mixing different varieties of basil can yield interesting and delightful results. However, for a classic pesto that captures the essence of Ligurian cuisine, Genovese basil is the preferred choice. Freshness is key, so using basil leaves that are vibrant and green, with no signs of wilting, will ensure your pesto is flavorful and aromatic. 

Uses for pesto

What do you do with pesto? 

Now, what to do with this green gold? Toss it with pasta, for a classic Italian dish that never disappoints. But don't stop there. Spread it on sandwiches or wraps for an instant flavor boost. Drizzle it over roasted vegetables, mix it into salad dressings, or use it as a marinade for chicken or fish. Pesto can even find its way into your breakfast, brightening up scrambled eggs or avocado toast. 

How do you make pesto? 

As for making your own, it couldn't be easier. All you need is a food processor or blender. Simply toss in your ingredients and blend until smooth, adjusting the olive oil to get your desired consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning, and just like that, you’ve created deliciousness. Homemade pesto also freezes beautifully, so you can capture the essence of summer in a jar and enjoy it all year round. 

How do you store pesto?

How do you store pesto? 

Storing pesto properly is key to keeping its vibrant color, fresh flavors, and aromatic qualities. For short-term storage, pesto should be kept in the refrigerator. To do this, place the pesto in an airtight container. A thin layer of olive oil can be poured on top of the pesto before sealing the container. This layer of oil acts as a barrier against oxidation, which can lead to discoloration and flavor loss. Pesto stored this way can last for up to a week in the fridge. Every time you use some of the pesto, smooth the surface and add a fresh layer of olive oil to keep it protected. 

For longer storage, freezing pesto is an excellent choice. You can freeze pesto in an airtight container, but for more convenience and portion control, consider using an ice cube tray. Fill the tray with pesto, freeze until solid, then transfer the pesto cubes into a freezer bag or container. This method allows you to thaw only the amount of pesto you need at a time, minimizing waste. Frozen pesto can last for several months without significant loss of flavor or quality. When you're ready to use it, simply thaw the required amount of pesto in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for a few hours. 

Pesto is a delightful sauce. Its ease of preparation, coupled with its ability to pair perfectly with a wide range of dishes, makes it a must-try for anyone looking to add a burst of flavor to their meals. Experiment with different ingredients to find your perfect pesto match. Once you start, you may find it hard to stop. 

Learn how to make our homemade almond pesto recipe by clicking here or for visual recipe guidance watch the recipe video below. 


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page