I like to make this using whatever ingredients are languishing in my fridge and need to be used, especially greens. Another variation is Farmers’ Market Pesto, based on whatever greens happen to look delicious at the market. I really like making pesto with verdolagas (purslane) when they’re in season.
2 packed cups of any greens (basil, spinach, kale, verdolagas etc–a mix is fine!)
½ cup any finely grated hard cheese
½ cup any lightly toasted nuts (walnuts, sunflower seeds, pine nuts etc)
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 clove chopped garlic
Salt to taste
Juice of 1 lemon
Place greens, finely grated cheese, lightly toasted nuts, olive oil and chopped garlic into a food processor. Process until the pesto reaches the texture of a smooth paste. Add salt to taste and the juice of ½ to 1 lemon (taste as you go). Do a couple final quick pulses to fully incorporate the salt and lemon juice.
You can use this pesto as a dip for bread; for thicker pasta (cook the pasta, drain–do not rinse–and then, while the pasta is still warm, toss it in a bowl with the pesto); or as a base for vegetable, bean and/or noodle soup (when making pesto for soup, I hold off on the lemon and add it to the whole soup at the very end).
Although some of the ingredients and proportions are different, this pesto was inspired by Samin Nosrat’s pesto pie chart.