Finally dug out the blender and made pesto last week - this was my first time making it from scratch and I must say it was a great success. I ended up improvising a bit, using things that I normally keep in my pantry to make my pesto. So I here's where I get to share my recipe - it's probably not a proper recipe, but most of my cooking starts with a recipe and ends up with being its own thing. Also good to know that most of my go to recipes usually have the caveat of 1) Add cheese until perfect or 2) Add bacon until perfect, luckily this recipe only has a little of number 1 and none of number 2.
HANGIN' AROUND PESTO: deliciously good pesto made from pantry items
2 boxes frozen spinach - unfrozen
1 gallon bag of fresh basil leaves (from the garden)
approx. 2 -3 tblsp of oregano (I used dried oregano from the garden)
2 tblsp of minced garlic
approx. 2 cups of Parmesan cheese
1 tblsp of lemon juice
dash of salt
*Add all the above items into blender, mix on "chop" setting until well blended, but not liquified*
Add contents of 1 small bag (also about 2 cups) of chopped walnuts
*Mix on chop cycle again, also do not liquify*
Add approx. 1 -2 cups of olive oil to blended mix, continuing on chop cycle, until pesto has reached desired consistency. NOTE - you might need to add olive oil earlier to get blender to mix well
ENJOY! You've made pesto out of common things you probably already have in your kitchen, and you've add the nutritious element of spinach! Don't tell your kids it's good for them and enjoy immediately or freeze to enjoy with pasta or pita chips as a snack.
I estimate with just this one batch of pesto I produced almost $20 of quality pesto without preservatives, without having to spend anything more than what I normal get at the grocery store.
I took one dish to a family get together this weekend and it was a hit!
If you ever need a quick dip for a party do the following:
*Spread out a layer of cream cheese (1 - 2 tubs depending on the size of the dish)
*Spread a layer of pesto on top of cream cheese layer (should have a good amount of olive oil so it spreads easily)
* Sprinkle with sun-dried tomatoes
* Grab a bag of pita chips or crackers and head out the door! Delicious party snack in about 10 minutes! Refrigerate before serving.