Pesto is just one of those things that makes anything taste awesome. If you are looking for a way to flavor up a boring dish, throw some pesto in there, people! The uses are endless…a few spoonfuls in your stir fry, a dollop on top of your bowl of soup, an addition to cream sauce, eaten straight out of your fridge with a spoon…ENDLESS!
One of my personal favorite ways to use pesto is in a light cream sauce. You can take a super basic white sauce, add a few big spoonfuls of pesto, whisk it together, and MAN that upgrades your cream sauce to a whole new category of awesomeness.
Not only are the ways to use pesto endless, the ways to make pesto are just as varied. Basil, parsley, arugula, spinach, cilantro, [enter any green thing here]. As long as you keep the other flavors relatively consistent, your pesto is DE-lish. All you really need in addition to the greens is garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, some sort of nut (traditionally pine nuts), and parmesan cheese.
As long as you generally stick to that ingredient list-ishhh, you have pesto!
On top of my love of pesto, my love of kale is still goin’ strong, my friends. I am a BIG fan of kale. And I’m a big fan of using kale instead of basil in pesto to sneak some of that awesome super food into your body. I love the flavor of the kale in this pesto, aaaannddd I plan to make it all da time.
The other awesome thing about pesto in all its beautiful forms? It is super easy to make as long as you have a food processor. If you have a food processor, the extent of your work pretty much involves throwing a bunch of stuff into it and turning it on. Yeah…super difficult.
It’s really fun to make because you can watch your base ingredients whirl around inside your food processor until a uniform, perfect pesto sits in your nice little bowl. Here are your basic pesto instructions, so you can see how supa-supa-simple this is:
- Add kale, garlic, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and pine nuts to your food processor
- Pulse until the ingredients have formed a paste in your food processor. Scrape down the sides with a spatula
- Turn on the lid and add your olive oil while the food processor is running. Scrape down the sides
- Add your water one tablespoon at a time until your pesto has reached the perfect consistency!
Donezoes. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
Pesto is lyfe.
Have you guys ever made energy bites before? I attempted once to make up my own recipe for a blog post, and the sad experienced ended with a bowl of gloopy oats in front of me. Clearly something went wrong. And clearly it was a bad idea to attempt my own recipe for energy bites when I had never made them before, and I had no basis of knowledge to go off of.
We call that wingin’ it. And this time, it failed. Miserably.
But I love the idea of energy bites, and I want to make them! I have given up on creating my own recipe for now, so my friend found a blog post with several different ways to make energy bites that builds off of one main recipe. So tomorrow we are going to have a long distance “energy bite party” between North Carolina and Kansas. We’re cute.
We are making the original, basic one, and then a carrot cake one. Is this what happens when you are in your mid twenties? Instead of planning nights out on the town and crazy evenings, you plan virtual energy bite parties? Whatevs. I’m accepting it because it sounds like fun, and I want energy bites. Especially that carrot cake one 😍 – YUM!
Maybe a kale pesto energy bite could be an option for future thought…? Actually no that sounds disgusting. I take it back.
- 2 cups packed kale
- 1 lemon, juiced (about 2-3 tablespoons of juice)
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Add all of the ingredients except the olive oil to the bowl of your food processor
- Pulse your food processor several times until the mixture has all been finely chopped and forms a paste
- Remove the lid, scrape down the sides with a spatula, place the lid back on, and while the food processor is turned on and running, drizzle in your olive oil
- Remove the lid, scrape down the sides, add the lid back on, and with the food processor running, drizzle in water 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach the consistency you want (I added 2 tablespoons of water)
- Season to taste with salt and pepper, pulsing to combine
Nutrition info is for 1 tablespoon of pesto.
If you make this or any of my other recipes, be sure to Instagram it and hashtag #thegarlicdiaries!
In the mood for more pesto goodness? Check these out: