Typically, a pesto called for five ingredients. Basil, Olive oil, Garlic, Parmesan Cheese, and Walnuts. Now, if you asked me three years ago I would have said you need all these ingredients to make a good pesto. However, when my boyfriend told me he was allergic to walnuts, I had to re-think. I love pesto, I could put pesto on anything and enjoy it. Pizza, pasta, garlic bread, eggs, you name it. So I wasn’t about to give up on it.
I started making my pesto slightly different and honestly, I don’t taste the difference. I use everything mentioned previously, except for the walnuts and it comes out perfect every time. Now the cheese is a different story. Some people love Parmesan cheese and that’s all they ever want. My family LOVES Pecorino Romano, and if you ask my dad that IS the ONLY cheese. (He does not like Parmesan, unless I hide it in things.)
Parmesan Vs. Romano
Usually swapping cheeses would end up in your meal becoming WAY too salty, because Romano cheese has a very high salt content. Especially the one my family buys. There have been numerous occasions where I’ve used Romano instead of Parmesan when cooking dinner for my parents. Every time, my mom complains it’s too salty. Once I started using Parmesan instead, there were no more complaints (from her at least.)
But for the pesto – I found either cheese results in a delicious mixture. But if you’re salt sensitive like my mom, I would stick with the Parmesan. I like it on the salty side, like most of my food. Below you’ll find my favorite recipe for basil pesto, and soon I’m sure you’ll be seeing a lot more pesto on this blog.
Can You Only Make Pesto Out of Basil?
I also recently learned that you can make pesto out of other things as well like arugula and kale. So you best believe I will be trying this as well! Just gotta do my research first! But I have been seeing a lot of different recipes on Pinterest. And I’m a HUGE fan of the food network cooking competitions (didn’t see that one coming, did you?) I’ve seen people make pesto out of carrot tops! I would have NEVER thought of that, and I’ve been dying to try it ever since I saw the episode, so ONE DAY.
How To Make a Simple Basil Pesto
- Blender or food processor
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup parmesan or romano cheese
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 handfuls fresh basil
- Combine all ingredients in your blender or food processor, pulse until smooth.