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