Good Taste Simple Pesto

Large Leaf Basil

Here is your go to basil pesto recipe! We love basil and this pesto recipe works great with Good Taste Farm Genovese, Sweet, Large-Leaf or even Thai Basil. The wonderful thing about pesto is that it is very forgiving. You are basically making a flavored nut butter, so depending on what ingredients you have on hand, you can adjust this to your own liking.

Don't be afraid to put more basil in or use a different type of nut or adjust the amount of oil. The essential flavors you need are fat, salt, and an acid. You can even use different herbs if you don't have enough basil. Parsley and purslane also make great pesto.

Fresh lime or lemon juice work great. Friends don't let friends use bottled lemon or lime juice. That stuff is full of sulfites and an insult to lemon and lime growers everywhere. If you don't have lemon or lime juice, a neutral vinegar like white vinegar or white wine vinegar also works.

This recipe calls for two sort of weird ingredients for pesto: garlic powder and nutritional yeast. We at Good Taste Farm pretty much always have both in the pantry, so that's why they are listed here. The nutritional yeast is there for, yes, nutrition and a cheesy flavor. If you want to use cheese instead, you might want to look at a different recipe because the salt and acid ratio will be different. We like California granulated garlic because the flavor is mellow, but you can use a few cloves of fresh garlic instead.

For the love of everything, if your olive oil has been open more than a few months or sitting in your pantry more than 6 months, get a new bottle. We like California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil because it is affordable, available everywhere and is handled and stored properly at the time of purchase. We've never gotten a bad bottle, so if you do not have a source for extra virgin olive oil that you know is not rancid, you should try their stuff. (This was NOT a paid endorsement).

Simple Pesto

6-8 oz. of basil (about 2-3 bunches)
1 tsp of sea salt
1 Tbs granulated garlic powder
1/2 cup + a little more unsalted walnuts
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice or fresh lime juice
1/2 cup of fresh olive oil

Rinse and drain basil, removing any hard stems. Flowers and green stems are ok. You just don't want splinters in your pesto.

Optional: If your walnuts aren't roasted, you can give them a quick toast in a medium pan. Put them on a plate to cool before the next step. 

[Note: The next steps are best done stopping your food processor between each step, so the pesto doesn't get too hot. After you get the hang of things you may be able to do this very quickly and not need to turn off the food processor between steps. Don't feel rushed. You do you.]

In a food processor* with the metal cutting blade, process the walnuts, garlic, nutritional yeast, and salt for about 30 seconds. Add half the basil and the lemon or lime juice. With the processor running, slowly pour in half the olive oil. Process until smooth. Add the other half of the basil, then pour in the rest of the olive oil. Process until smooth.

Use immediately or store in the refrigerator for a few days or freeze for a few months. It tastes better after the flavors meld in the fridge for a bit, so this is great to make ahead of time.

*A fancy blender probably works too!