Making pesto is pretty simple: Puree some garlic, add basil and lemon juice, add nuts of any kind, and add oil until it’s the consistency you want! Taste and add salt as needed, and you’re all set. Here’s a base recipe/method to get you going.
1-2 cloves garlic
1 cup basil leaves, loosely packed
1 tablespoon lemon juice (I’ve used lime before with almonds as the nut and it was great!)
1 handful of nuts of any kind–pine nuts are classic, incredible, and incredibly expensive! Don’t be shy about trying walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, any sort of nut that you like the flavor of
Olive oil, as needed
Salt, as needed
In a blender or food processor, puree the garlic. Scrape the sides down to make sure you don’t have any large chunks. Add the basil and lemon juice and puree a little more. Add the nuts and puree again-you’re looking for a thick paste, not completely devoid of texture but no large chunks, either. Slowly drizzle in oil until the paste begins to loosen up. Here’s where you have to think about what you’re doing next: Is this pesto destined for a white bean dip? Then don’t add a crazy amount of oil, let it still be a little stiff. Is this pesto for a summertime veggie pasta? Add a good amount of oil, so that you can imagine it coating the veggies and sauce nicely. A tip? It’s always better to err on the side of caution! You can always add a little more oil to loosen the pesto up, but you can’t easily take excess oil away.
Have fun and be creative!