Pesto is king of versatile kitchen condiments (though it’s a close call with Sriracha). Just a touch of the green stuff can transform plain pasta, veggies, chicken, or fish into a meal absolutely bursting with flavor. And if you’ve only bought the jarred kind, it’s time to appreciate the true beauty of the homemade version.
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While the classic mix of basil, pine nuts, Parmesan, garlic, and olive oil is a flavor party worth RSVPing for, the more the merrier at this culinary festivity. Hipster-favorite kale? Sure! Earthy, sweet beets? Why not. Crunchy carrots? Heck yeah.
Pick a flavor combo from the chart below, and follow the basic pesto-making directions below to whip up your own batch.
Directions: Place base ingredient and add-ins in a food processor. Pulse ingredients into a coarse mixture, scraping sides as needed. While pulsing, slowly drizzle oil through top feed tube and process until well combined and pesto looks uniform. (Feel free to substitute different oils based on what’s in your pantry, though generally olive and nut oils work best for pesto.) Taste and adjust seasonings as you like.
Note: Prepared pesto can be chilled in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Store in a small container, press pesto down to eliminate air pockets, and drizzle a little oil over top to prevent browning. You can also freeze extra pesto in ice cube or mini muffin trays and store in a zip-top bag until you’re ready to use it!