Food

Pesto Recipe With & Without Oil

All the pesto ingredients

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Pesto is one of the great joys of Summer, making use of basil at the peak of the season, and it’s so versatile, you can use it as a pasta sauce, mix it with a little mayo or Greek yogurt for a salad dressing, or drop a dollop on some grilled meat for some delicious extra flavor.

Usually I have to limit myself to a tiny drop of the delicious green mixture, as much as I love it, because it’s made with so much oil and I just can’t afford the calories. Luckily, I have recipe for No-Oil Pesto I’m posting here, along with my husband’s Spinach & Almond Pesto, which is terrific, and which means I just have to work out more.

All the pesto ingredients

Note: when my husband and I make pesto, we make tons of it and freeze it up flat in ziploc bags for later use, which I highly recommend.

No-Oil Pesto

(The secret to this recipe is using super-ripe tomatoes as the oil substitute.)

Ingredients:

2 cups Basil leaves, washed and driedbasil leaves

6 cloves of Garlic, peeledgarlic cloves

2 Very ripe Tomatoes, chopped into piecesripe tomatoes

1 cup Pine nutspine nuts

Place the basil, pine nuts and garlic in the food processor and pulse until it becomes a paste. no-oil pesto in food processor

Add the tomatoes and process until the mixture becomes creamy. Add salt & pepper to taste.tomatoes in the pestofinal product: no-oil pesto

Optional: grated Parmesan cheese is a traditional component of pesto, and you can add some to taste at this point if you like. We don’t add any when we are freezing up a batch. Instead, we wait until serving to add the cheese.

 

My Husband’s Spinach & Almond Pesto

Ingredients:

2 cups Spinach leaves, washed thoroughlyspinach leaves in food processor

6 cloves of Garlicgarlic in pesto

1 cup of raw Almondsraw almonds

1 cup Extra Virgin Olive OilCostco brand Extra virgin olive oil

Place the spinach, almonds and garlic in the food processor and pulse until it becomes a paste. With the processor running, add the oil in a stream and process until the mixture becomes creamy. Add salt & pepper to taste.adding the oil to spinach pestofinished spinach pesto

Optional: As with the no-oil pesto, grated Parmesan cheese is a traditional component of pesto, and you can add some to taste at this point if you like. We don’t add any when we are freezing up a batch. Instead, we wait until serving to add the cheese.

(Note: we buy in bulk from Costco and make a ton of pesto to save in the freezer. Costco sells a giant bag of spinach and a 3-pound bag of almonds, which will make you a big batch of pesto for sure!)

Whether you add oil or not, enjoy your pesto – and your Summer!

my trusty old Cuisinart

All pestos made with my trusty old Cuisinart

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Sarah Auerswald (563 Posts)

Sarah Auerswald is the CEO and Co-Founder of MomsLA. She writes about life in LA while raising her 2 sons and is the founder of MarVistaMom.com. She was an English Major at Brown University, and yet nowadays feels free to ignore grammar rules anytime she wants. Like Now. She's married, uses a Mac, and grew up in Hawaii.


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