With a little practice anybody can make a simple pesto in about 15 minutes.  It’s one of my favorite things to make because there are only a few ingredients, essentially no cooking, yet it tastes and looks phenomenal.  Once you have the basic basil pesto recipe down pat,  you can also start experimenting with other ingredients…like in this case swapping out the more traditional pine nuts for almonds.  Almonds have their own unique flavor, and whether you care about taste, nutrition or just plain availability, using them still makes one heck of a pesto.

RECIPE FOR BASIL PESTO WITH ALMONDS

Ingredients for Pesto (3 – 4 servings)

  • 2 – 3 cups loosely packed fresh basil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Olive oil
  • 3 – 4 tablespoons of parmesan cheese
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons of toasted almonds
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Recipe Overview and Keys to Success

  1. Make sure that your basil is fresh, and healthy looking.  No big blemishes or wilted leaves.
  2. Taste and adjust the seasoning, and/or quantity of the ingredients as you go.  Use the above measurements as a guideline, but you’re the ultimate judge.
  3. You can always use more olive oil, or even water, to thin out the pesto.  So add a bit at a time until you reach the consistency you want
  4. You can make the pesto a couple hours ahead of time, but make sure to keep it in the fridge, tightly covered.  As the air gets to it, the bright green color will start to fade.

Making the Basil Pesto with Almonds

  • Blanch the basil leaves about 20 seconds in boiling water
  • Remove them to an ice bath to stop the cooking process, and set the color
  • Drain the basil on a paper towel.
  • Add all the ingredients to a blender or food processor along with 1 – 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Pulse the blender until the ingredients start to come together.  Scrape down the sides, and add more olive oil as needed
  • Once everything comes together; taste and make any adjustments you’d like
  • Pour out into a bowl, and you’ve got your pesto

You can mix this with hot pasta, spread it on a sandwich, use it for a pizza sauce, or probably another 100 ways.  Hope you enjoy it and leave me a comment to let me know how it goes.

Total Time: 
20minutes
Prep Time: 
20minutes
Cuisine: