• Alexis

The Kitchen Essential: Basil Pesto

It's green. It's salty. It's garlick-y. It's what Beyoncé was talking about when she said "let me Upgrade U".

Okay, maybe I embellished on that last part, but pesto is a game changer and it's SUPER easy to make yourself. It's truly forgiving to whatever you have on hand, and it elevates any dish that you use it in.

Grains and pasta? Add some pesto.

Eggs? Add some pesto.

Salad dressing? Add some pesto.

Pizza? Add some pesto.

Hummus? Add some pesto.

Bland protein? Add some pesto. Do you sense a theme here?

Pesto was something that my mom would always whip up in five minutes and throw in with one of her "kitchen sink" meals and it was always a hit. There is actually a dish that I requested every year for my birthday for ~5 years of my childhood, and part of it was because of her pesto. The framework is the always the same: greens, cheese, oil, nuts.

My favorite pesto goes a little something like this:

Garlic and Basil Pesto

2 C. basil, washed (or try arugula, spinach, etc)

1/4 C walnuts (or try almonds, pine nuts, etc.)

1/4 C parmesan or pecorino romano cheese

1/3 C olive oil (more or less depending on preference)

3-4 cloves garlic

fresh black pepper, to taste

1. Place all ingredients (minus oil) into a food processor.

2. Turn on and slowly pour olive oil into the food processor through the spout attachment until blended, scraping down the sides as needed.

Add more or less olive oil to your liking. I will usually make it thicker and then add extra oil depending on what I am using it for (I store it in the fridge for up to a week in an airtight container, pouring a little olive oil over it to form a "seal" from the air).

I usually stick with basil and walnuts, but when I'm feeling daring (and I'm cleaning out my fridge as you can see above) I'll add some of the other options in.

**I give those measurements as a rough estimate, feel it out and taste it along the way to tweak it to your liking. Also note: if using arugula, taste before adding pepper as the leaves have a naturally pepper-y flavor.

It's a fan favorite, it's super easy to throw together, and it makes you look like a rock star in the kitchen -- not like you needed another reason for that. Try it out! Tag me on Instagram, @ATBNutrition and use the #diningwithdiva hashtag if you do!!

What's your favorite thing to put pesto on? Xx, Alexis

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