pesto. a summer delicacy. intensely green, intensely satisfying.

i remember my first experience with pesto. i thought it was GROSS. we were living in bexley, ohio, and my idea of a positive italian meal consisted of noodles swimming in butter or oil with a little cheese. naked. really, i loved the pasta, but clearly hadn’t developed a palate that appreciated any sort of sauce–no tomato, no bolognese, and especially no pesto. the color alone put me over the edge. but i remember my mom making it for my dad, and how papa duane crooned over it. i gave a very typical look of disgust and continued to shovel in the bland, bare noodles.

i am so glad my tastes have changed.

i came home from work last week with a bounty of basil and kale. and the kale keeps multiplying as i’m picking more from our garden outside. the verdant, lush, gorgeous greens of the basil and kale make me so warm and happy inside. with the glut, i decided pesto was the only logical thing to make.

my first batch was the basil pesto. this is classic, friends. i mean the flavor is so a powerfully delightfully basil. oh so rich, so elegant. smooth. graceful. it truly is summer. when i opened the food processor after pulsing the basil with the nut mixture, the aroma was so overwhelming i couldn’t help but do a dance of delight around my sunshiney, sweltering kitchen.

summer, it’s here!

the basil pesto is my favorite because it is the classic. the kale pesto is AMAZING, more intense in kale/garlic flavor, and i love it very much, too. enjoy smeared on bread, tossed on warm chickpeas, mixed with hot pasta, spread as a sauce on pizza, or by the spoonful. what’s your favorite way to eat pesto?

pesto

3 cups packed basil/kale (or a combo, or spinach!)
1/2 cup toasted almonds/pumpkin seeds/flax seeds (or pine nuts, but those are PRICEY!)
splash of lemon juice (for kale pesto)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
3 garlic cloves (i used 2 garlic cloves and 1 garlic scape for each)
salt and pepper to taste

1. pulse basil/kale and nuts (and lemon juice, for kale) in food processor a few times.
2. add garlic, pulse again.
3. then turn the machine on, and slowly pour in olive oil as machine runs. scrape down sides to ensure all is combined.
4. add cheese, pulse until blended. add salt and pepper to taste.

ENJOY!

toasted nuts

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