When making pesto, I often use a combination of whatever I have in my house. No pine nuts? No problem, add walnuts or almonds. No Parmesan? I’ve substituted pecorino or goat cheese. Extra kale in the fridge...throw it in! Wild leek (ramp) season...add those too (but halve the amount of garlic). This is one of those recipes that’s really versatile and is great with substitutions or additions so feel free to play around with it. This is also a recipe I make in larger batches, freeze and thaw as I use it. It’s great to have on hand for pasta, flatbread, pizza, sandwiches, to use on chicken...the possibilities are really endless.
3c basil leaves, washed and measured packed
4 large cloves of garlic (roughly chopped)
1/2c toasted pine nuts
1/2c extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of half a fresh lemon
1/3 c tablespoons grated parmesan
Salt to taste
Toast the pine nuts (or nuts of your choice) in a dry pan and pulse them in a food processor until they are a fine crumb. Add garlic, basil and olive oil (you may have to add basil/olive oil in batches) and continue to blend until it is the consistency you want. Stir in salt and cheese.