Pesto Sauce

basil leaves

I’m going to re-publish this post from last fall because pesto is such an important part of my world. In fact, it’s on the menu tonight. And if it’s not in your repertoire… it should be.

I made 3 batches of pesto until I ran out of olive oil. Freeze them in ice cube trays or small plastic storage containers (like the one in the picture)- to use throughout the winter months.
With the last pile of basil leaves ready to go, I realized I was out of olive oil. Not in the mood to run to the store or borrow anything else from our new neighbors (until they borrow something back from us, we are up 2 eggs) I searched the cupboards for possible substitutes and found a bottle of walnut oil. I did a little research and found this recipe:

Walnut Oil Pesto

3 cups basil leaves
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup walnut oil
salt, to taste
Blend all ingredients in the blender or food processor.

Traditional Pesto Sauce

Here’s the pesto recipe I like to use:

1 c. fresh basil leaves
2 garlic cloves
coarse or rock salt, just a sprinkle
2 tbsp. pine nuts (giant bags available at Costco)
1/2 c. olive oil
4 tbsp. fresh grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp. pecorino cheese or more parmesan

Place basil, garlic, salt, and pine nuts in a blender or food processor until finely chopped. add olive oil with motor running, the add cheese. blend one more time until ingredients are mixed well.

Basically the same, excepting the pine nuts when you use walnut oil instead of olive oil, this might be a good pesto option these days as the price of pine nuts soars so high even Costco has stopped carrying them.
Just a note in case you’re entertaining or trying to impress your diners- the walnut oil pesto browned noticeably quicker than the traditional recipe. Otherwise, the taste is basically the same.

This bowl full of lunch may not look very delicious- but it is. It’s is my favorite way to eat pesto these days- with spaghetti squash instead of pasta, then mix in whatever else you have handy- some protein (salmon, tuna, ham, soy beans…) and more vegetables (tomatoes, green beans, peas…). Delicious.
I’ve finally arrived at the year when all of the kids are in school all day… a mom milestone… this means I can catch up on the Sunday New York Times (that takes me all week to get through) over lunch.

Try pesto on a pizza- it’s a family favorite!

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