Garlic Lovers’ Pesto

For me, store bought pesto can’t compare to homemade pesto with fresh herbs, roasted nuts and grated cheese. It can be easily made within 10-15 minuets. Pasta with pesto and fresh tomatoes is always fast and convenient on nights when you’re short on time. Use it as a spread on bread and sandwiches!

Garlic. Since this is a garlic lovers’ pesto, this recipe is a little spicy. If you want to tone down the garlicky flavor, use only half a head of garlic or cook the pesto for a few minutes. This will help to soften the garlicky flavor.

Pecorino Romano cheese. This salty Italian cheese is made from sheep’s milk and has a little bite to it which I love. I think it pairs well with Parmesan’s smooth creamy texture.

Storing pesto. In a glass jar or air-tight plastic container, pesto can last up to a week in the refrigerator. Before placing pesto in the refrigerator, make sure olive oil has risen to the top layer. This will help act as a barrier and prolong the pesto’s life. It can also be frozen and last up to a year; however, the pesto recipe I make usually doesn’t last very long – it’s devoured within a week.

Click here for recipe…

Garlic Lovers' Pesto

makes 4 cups

4 cups Italian basil (packed)
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 head garlic
¼ cup almonds (unsalted, dry roast)
¼ cup walnuts (unsalted, dry roast)
¼ cup pine nuts (unsalted, dry roast)
1 cups Parmesan cheese, grate fresh
½ cup Pecorino Romano cheese, grate fresh
1 lemon – juicy only (about 1/4 cup)
½ tsp. kosher salt (or to taste)

1. using food processor
In a food processor, first combine basil, garlic, almonds, walnuts, and pine nuts. Pulse until coarsely chopped. Next, add extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice. Process until all ingredients are incorporated and smoothness is to your liking (my pesto pictured above is slightly coarse). Then stir in freshly grated Parmesan and Pecorino Romano cheese. Add salt to taste.

2. using mortar & pestle
First, finely pound/grind nuts. Set aside in medium mixing bowl. Next, pound/grind garlic until texture is paste-like. Add garlic paste to mixing bowl. Then pound and add basil to mixing bowl. Finally, add remaining ingredients (olive oil, lemon juice, grated Parmesan and Pecorni Romano cheese) to mixing bowl. Mix well until all ingredients are incorporated. Add salt to taste.

3. final steps
Pesto should be served immediately. For storing pesto for later use, see paragraph above “Storing Pesto.”

7 Responses to “Garlic Lovers’ Pesto”

  • Michelle
    on August 3rd, 2010 at 10:18 am Said:

    If you love garlic, you should definitely try using garlic scapes to make a pesto! It is intensely garlicky – in a good way!

  • Bonnie
    on August 5th, 2010 at 3:24 pm Said:

    The pesto looks great! I can practically imagine what it would smell like, all that garlicky goodness.

  • Jackie
    on August 6th, 2010 at 7:43 am Said:

    Glad to see you’re back! Yummy looking pesto – I once made a garlic scape pesto and it was so strong even my garlic-loving brother couldn’t handle it… and he eats raw garlic! Yours is definitely a keeper =)

    Jax x

  • Lisa
    on August 6th, 2010 at 10:09 am Said:

    I love this. Anything with a LOT of garlic is a winner in my book! I’m going to link this to my Facebook page! Thanks for the recipe. I must try it soon (=

  • Marly
    on October 15th, 2010 at 2:48 am Said:

    My recipes for pesto only use the pine nuts. I like how your recipe includes other nuts as well. I can’t wait to try this – we love pesto. Jeez, I think we love a lot of food. Maybe I need to go work out!

  • Linda
    on January 3rd, 2011 at 2:43 am Said:

    Cooking is a workout itself! So you do burn calories and if you add doing dishes, that’s a few hundred calories burnt.

  • Anna's Table
    on February 20th, 2011 at 3:34 pm Said:

    Linda, thanks for connecting through the FB site which allowed me to discouver your blog. You are so right that nothing compares to homemade pesto. I usually make large batches in the summer when basil is readily available. It’s amazing how it retains its colour and flavour even after freezing.

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