Did you know you can make pesto sauce with herbs other than basil? Of course basil pesto taste amazing, but there are other versions out there that are worth a try! I personally always make pesto sauce with parsley because my local grocery store doesn’t carry basil, so I have to grow it myself. But, when my basil isn’t ready, like now, I use parsley. You can make pesto with basil, parsley, sun-dried tomato, or even cilantro!
Pesto always uses some kind of nut like pine nuts, but if you don’t have any on hand, feel free to use any other nuts. Pine nuts seem the most expensive ones here in Japan. For about 20 nuts, it’s about 12$…Yeah…So I usually use almonds, cashews, macadamia, or pecans.
I recently found some parmigiano reggiano that is made with Jersey cow milk! So far, I have found gouda, provolone, cheddar, and parmesan cheese that is made with Jersey cow milk. For this recipe I used Jersey cow parmesan, but if you’re not comfortable using cheese, you can simply omit it. It taste just as good with or without cheese. Then again, you could always add a couple of tbsp of any nut cheese. I have a recipe for almond ricotta here that you could add to your pesto. This recipe makes about 1/2 cup of sauce.
Parsley Pesto Sauce
Peel the garlic cloves and cut the stems off the parsley.
Put the garlic, parsley, salt, pepper, and nuts into a food processor.
The trick to getting a creamy pesto sauce is to add the olive oil really slowly. I just drizzle a little at a time into the food processor hole while the machine is on. It sort of whips the oil and makes a creamy dressing. Do this for 2 minutes.
When all of the oil is added, you can add the cheese if you are using it. Blend one more minute and you have delicious creamy pesto sauce.
You can pan fry the pine nuts before adding them to the food processor if you wish, but making it that way takes a little bit more time.
Pesto sauce without cheese:
Pesto sauce with cheese: