Homemade Pesto Sauce is a fabulous condiment for all things Italian! Our pesto’s ingredients are interchangeable depending on your tastes and preferences. Traditional pesto is made with Italian basil leaves. Our pesto sauce is not traditional as we use both basil and cilantro.
Basil is a summer and fall crop, so if it becomes a challenge to find basil leaves, then choose spinach, arugula, cilantro, even kale to make a fabulous pesto using this recipe. There are other options we share below with the nuts and seeds you can use too. There are truly a plethora of variations you can create!
Both basil and cilantro have medicinal benefits. Pesto is a wonderful way to incorporate these healing herbs into your favorite Italian or Mediterranean recipes.
Basil is an adaptogen with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
- It’s great for digestion, helping with inflammation and joint pain.
- Basil is an herb that is calming and helps reduce stress and anxiety.
- Traditional basil is not the same as Holy basil, which we love as well and drink regularly in our Tulsi Tea. Not that you couldn’t make pesto with holy basil, we prefer using the Italian basil for this recipes.
Cilantro is rich in antioxidants.
- helps remove harmful heavy metals from our body such as mercury and lead.
- Cilantro helps to support: heart health, balance blood sugar levels and protects our brain.
- Rich in Vitamin A, cilantro helps both our vision and digestion.
If you are are not a fan of pesto, but would love to try a different sauce or condiment to add to your Italian or Mediterranean dishes try our Tomato Pepper Sauce. It works in the same as pesto. It’s great blended into pasta, or as a dip with toasted crostini’s.
Watch our Homemade Pesto Sauce recipe video below. Keep scrolling for our full recipe and the many ways we love to use our pesto.
Homemade Pesto Sauce Ingredients:
- 1 bunch basil, about 1 C or more leaves
- 1 bunch cilantro leaves, small amount of stems are good
- 3 or more Fresh Garlic cloves (the more the merrier!)
- 1/2 c Pine Nuts (other nut or seed options: hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, pecan, walnuts)
- ½ -1 C Pecorino Cheese (sheep) ( alternative vegan parm)
- 1/3 -½ Cup. Olive Oil
Homemade Pesto Sauce Method:
- Pulse the leaves with the garlic
- Add the pine nuts, pulse.
- Add pecorino cheese and pulse.
- Continue blending, and slowly add the olive oil until desired consistency.
NOTE: To keep pesto fresh and from turning brown and lasting longer, place pesto in a glass container and top it off with a little olive oil to preserve.
Homemade Pesto freezes well in small containers such as ice cube trays. Remove and keep in a small freezer bag.
To unfreeze put pesto container in warm water for 5 minutes.
1. Substitute arugula, kale or spinach for the cilantro.
2. Substitute pecans, walnuts, pumpkin, hemp or sunflower seeds for the pine nuts.
3. Dairy free Vegan version~omit the pecorino cheese and add nutritional yeast or Vegan Parmesan.
Many Ways to Use your Homemade Pesto Sauce:
Homemade Pesto is great over pasta, risotto, lasagne in sandwiches, on pizza, in soup or as a condiment. It’s also wonderful as a marinade or condiment for lamb, fish, pesto chicken. There are truly so many wonderful uses!
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