Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Homemade Parsley Pesto

I have a pesto recipe that is super easy to make and easy on your budget.  I've always found that making pesto with basil and pine nuts or the dry packets can be kind of expensive, but I love using pesto in tons of dishes.  I've come up with my own recipe that I make in batches and freeze and use when I need it.

What you will need:

  • 3 bundles of flat leaf parsley
  • Oil
  • Salt/Pepper
  • 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • Zest of 1 lemon + juice from half
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup of chicken stock

Either in a food processor or a blender cut the tops off of the flat leaf parsley and put them into the blender. I did this one bundle at a time due to limited space in my blender.  Throw in the chicken stock, garlic, lemon zest and lemon juice and turn on the blender.  While its on, start pouring oil in until is begins to mix.  The amount of oil will all be dependent on how smooth you want your pesto.  (You may have to turn off the blender and push down the parsley so it can mix thoroughly)

 Keep blending until you get a relatively smooth consistency but can still see chunks of the parsley in it.  Next add in the next bundle of parsley and blend until the same consistency then add in the third.  Continue to add oil each time until you get the consistency that you prefer.

I taste test and then add salt and pepper.

Once done I add in the shredded Parmesan cheese and fold it into the mixture.

When its completely mixed pour the mixture into nonstick cupcake tins (without the liners) or an ice cube tray, put it in the freezer overnight to harden.

 The next day take them out and put them in a Ziploc bag.

I don't add nuts to my pesto, but if you want to you can definitely add them, its all a personal preference. 

I love the ease of being able to pull out a few at a time and throw them into pasta, rice, shrimp, scallops and pretty much anything to add a little flavor!  Making the pesto ahead of time definitely saves a lot of hassle and mess in the kitchen when I'm cooking.

**In the summer when I grow basil or parsley I use what I grow, but in the winters when basil is a little harder to come by or more expensive I use parsley.  I actually found a garlic basil herb plant that was great in this pesto recipe.

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