This parsley pesto recipe is simple and delicious.
Of course it makes a great sauce to serve over pasta, but you will find lots of other uses for this easy sauce as well (see my suggestions below).
How to Make Pesto
Pesto is a sauce made by blending together a herb, garlic, olive oil and some cheese. It is a simple sauce that packs a lot of flavor.
We all think of pesto as a sauce made with basil. You’ll see from this recipe that you don’t need an abundance of basil to make a tasty pesto. Plain old parsley, a herb garden staple, makes a fantastic pesto.
This particular recipe calls for mostly parsley, but a bit of basil as well. You can use all parsley if you prefer or if that is what you have on hand.
You can choose the nuts you use in this pesto recipe as well. Most of us think of pine nuts as a must have ingredient in any pesto recipe. Pine nuts certainly are fabulous and that is the nut that is shown in the image above, but did you know you can easily substitute walnuts or almonds for the pine nuts?
Pine nuts are SO expensive right now. Expensive enough that I always choose to use an alternate nut. You can substitute walnuts or almonds for the pine nuts in this recipe. Both will taste great with the parsley and are far more affordable than the pine nuts.
My favorite is to use walnuts. Walnuts will give the pesto recipe a nice warm, earthy flavor that I think pairs really well with the parsley, so it’s my go to pesto nut.
Of course no pesto is complete without fresh garlic. If you are a real garlic lover, feel free to add another clove.
A great olive oil is essential too for the best tasting fresh pesto recipe. You can use other oils of course, but there is nothing like the taste of real olive oil in pesto.
And then there is the Parmesan cheese to finish it off. The recipe calls for freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Do you need freshly grated cheese? No. Will it taste better with freshly grated Parmesan, rather than the pre-grated cheese in a plastic container. Yes, a hundred times yes.
That said, go with what you have and what you can afford. Don’t let your budget stop you from making something wonderful like this fresh pesto recipe. If you can afford walnuts rather than pine nuts, go for it. It will be amazing. If pre-grated Parmesan is what is in your fridge, use it.
The most important part of cooking is to just do it. Your body will benefit from making home made food, whether you have the budget (or desire) for expensive ingredients or not. And you will feel better for the effort you made to make something wonderful from scratch.
Health Benefits of Parsley
Parsley isn’t just a delicious herb. It’s an amazingly healthy food too. For most of us it’s a good idea to incorporate parsley in our diets as often as we can. Research has shown that parsley is an immune system booster, an anti-inflammatory food, an antioxidant rich food and has anti cancer properties. Pretty amazing for a little green herb that is easily grown in our gardens.
This recipe requires either a food processor or blender to grind the ingredients properly and bring it all together.
I hope you enjoy this wonderful fresh pesto recipe. Let me know in the comments below how yours turned out and what you used to make it.
How to Make Parsley Pesto
- 1 food processor or blender
- 2 cups parsley, firmly packed
- 1/2 cup fresh basil
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, walnuts or almonds, chopped
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, ideally freshly grated
- Place all the ingredients except the cheese in a blender or food processor. Blend everything together at high speed until the mixture is smooth, stopping occasionally to scrape the sides with a spatula.
- Mix in the cheese and serve or store.
- Makes 2 ½ cups of fresh parsley pesto.
Of course it's fantastic on pasta, just like basil pesto. Also try it mixed in with cooked rice or quinoa for a delicious side dish. Top off your homemade hamburgers with parsley pesto and a bit of tomato sauce for great tasting pesto burgers. Bake chicken pieces or fish topped with a layer of this wonderful pesto sauce. Top freshly baked garlic bread with a thin layer of parsley pesto. Add a bit of this fresh pesto to some olive oil to make a dipping sauce for fresh Italian crusty bread. Yum!
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