Monday, April 16, 2012


if someone said i had to only eat one dish every day for the rest of my life, pesto on sourdough toast would be on the shortlist (along with avocado, black bean and sweet potato tacos,  tomato and garlic pizza and pistachio gelato).

i love that it's equally brilliant on toast, pizza, pasta, panini, crackers.  i love that you can mix it up with different ingredients.  in summer, i practically live on arugula pesto because my friend has a rocket field that produces tons of the greens. 

true story:  i make it so much that the inside of my food processer is tinted green.

i'm somewhat reluctant to tell you that i also eat it by the spoonful.

for this batch, i used a mix of spinach, arugula, basil and pistachios.  i replaced some of the parmesan cheese with nutritional yeast for extra b12, which can be scarce in a vegetarian diet.  i always throw in red pepper flakes because i like mine super spicy.

super pesto
one head garlic, peeled and roughly chopped (that's about 10 cloves)
four handfuls greens (spinach or arugula or a mix)
one handful basil leaves
one cup nuts, raw and unsalted (walnuts are my favorite, but the batch shown is made with pistachios because that's what i had on hand)
one-half cup parmesan cheese
four tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional; use extra parm if omitting)
olive oil
red pepper flakes (optional)
sea salt (don't add until the end because the parm is usually pretty salty)

add garlic, nuts, basil and pepper flakes to food processer with a bit of olive oil.  pulse a few times to grind.  add the cheese and nutritional yeast, pulsing and adding olive oil to keep the mixture moving.  add the greens in two batches, keep mixing, adding enough olive oil to keep the pesto from balling up.  add sea salt to taste.

this makes a huge batch (about four times what you see in the photos).  feel free to scale down if you are not a pesto freak like me.

brush teeth after eating to avoid mad garlic breath and a green-speckled smile.  :)