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Homemade Pesto Recipes

Pesto can be used in many different ways. Whether you use it in a pasta salad, as a spread on bread, or mixed into a dish for flavor, pesto can enhance many dishes. Next time you need pesto, try making it at home. This page contains homemade pesto recipes.
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6 Recipes

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This pesto might come off as a bit unusual sounding at first but it is absolutely spectacular. It came to be because I really wanted pesto but didn't have any of the common ingredients. It came down to what I had on hand: leeks and walnuts. This turned out so good, it's going to be one of my go-to dishes. I hope you try this out!

I like to cut out some of the oil by using some of the pasta cooking liquid to make it creamy, but you can add some oil in its place if you desire. You can swap out the Parmesan cheese with 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast if you'd like this to be a vegan pesto.

Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack dry pasta of your choice
  • 2 leeks, greens and whites separated and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt to taste

Steps:

  1. Cook pasta to package directions, drain and save a few tablespoons of the cooking liquid.
  2. Heat some oil in a pan over medium heat and sauté the whites of the leeks for a few minutes.
  3. Add the green parts of the leeks and the garlic. Sautee until wilted, a few minutes and remove from pan.
  4. Add walnuts to pan over medium-low heat, stirring frequently until lightly toasted.
  5. Place leek and garlic mixture into a food processor and pulse several times.
  6. Add toasted walnuts and Parmesan. Pulse until you have a gritty mixture.
  7. Stream in olive oil and pasta cooking liquid and puree until it's smooth. Add salt to taste. Serve with pasta.
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I always see that a step in recipes using kale is to discard the stems. Don't do that! The stems are full of vitamins and fiber, not to mention zingy flavours. I like to make pesto with mine using cashews. The cashews support the bright kale flavour by giving it a nice, full creaminess. They also cost less than pine nuts.

Kale Stem Pesto in bowl

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I love making fresh sun-dried tomato pesto. It is very simple to make. There are many ways you can use this pesto:

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto in bowl

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August 30, 2004

Easy and tasty pesto recipe.

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Solutions

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I know pesto is traditionally basil, thyme, etc. mixed with olive oil. But the other week I had some parsley and cilantro that I knew was going to go bad by the end of the week.

So I finely chopped the parsley and cilantro. Add salt to taste. Add in enough olive oil (or canola oil) to cover the mixture. Stir. Put it in a mason jar with a lid (I did not can it, just for storing purposes).

Now I just use a spoonful or so in whatever recipe I need.

I am unsure of how long this keeps; however if you were to add a tablespoon of vinegar or so I don't think it would harm the flavor much and would help preserve it longer. At having it in the fridge for 3 weeks, it still tastes and seems fine.

By Strawberryparfait from Charlotte, NC

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June 20, 2018

Pesto is a tasty sauce for pasta. Make it vegan by substituting soy parmesan "cheese'' or nutritional yeast for the traditional parmesan cheese. This page contains a vegan pesto recipe.

Vegan Pesto with penne pasta on white plate

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