WHAT'S IN SEASON – Dive into the cool and briny waters of the Italian coast and discover sea-inspired favorites at 10% off online. Shop now!

How to Pesto

How to Pesto

While pesto is often considered to be green, the sauce goes far beyond basil. The word comes from the Italian verb "pestare," or to grind. Using a mortar and pestle, pesto is traditionally made by grinding fresh ingredients with olive oil, garlic, and other complementary seasonings. The result: a rainbow of pesto possibilities.

Follow our guide to learn how to make pesto out of anything! Then, pick up the ingredients in our marketplace!

1. PICK YOUR PESTO.

What will your main ingredient be? In Italy, we’ve seen it all. Herbs can be the focus – or nuts – or a favorite seasonal vegetable. Are you cautiously diving into the wide world of pesto? Go for sun-dried tomato. Feeling wild? Try pistachio!  And there is nothing (nothing!) wrong with classic basil.

Ideas: Broccoli rabe, escarole, red peppers, mint, spinach, cilantro, basil, arugula, dandelion greens, kale, peas, parsley, eggplant, sun-dried tomatoes

2. TOAST THE NUTS!

Whether they are the main affair (walnut pesto is a delicious thing) or a tasty addition (pine nuts, party of one), be sure to toast your nuts in the oven to bring out their extra-rich notes. Just remember to let them cool completely before grinding!

Ideas: Almonds, walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds

3. CHOOSE YOUR CHEESE.

When it comes to pesto, it’s hard to stray far from Grana and its ilk. The hard, salty, aged cheese brings a savory yet creamy element to the sauce.

Ideas: Parmigiano Reggiano, Grana Padano, Pecorino Romano, Asiago

4. WITH OLIVE OIL, THINK REGIONALLY.

From buttery and delicate to robust and peppery, olive oil varies greatly and will add a distinct note to your pesto. When in doubt, follow the old adage, “What grows together goes together.” Pesto alla genovese is a blend of local basil and delicate Ligurian olive oil; pesto alla calabrese combines red peppers and chili flakes with peppery olive oil from Calabria.

5. GARLIC!

Garlic, garlic, garlic. Need we say more? You can skip this, but we highly recommend a clove (or two).

6. SELECT THE SEASONINGS.

Pesto can be as creative or as simple as you prefer. Making broccoli pesto? After steaming and cooling, crush the veggie with garlic, olive oil, and sea salt. Done! For sun-dried tomato pesto, the addition of herbs like rosemary can add a lovely twist.

7. PESTA THAT PESTO!

Finally! Get to the grind with the traditional mortar and pestle, a food processor, or a blender. For those using the modern technology, do not over-process. Part of the charm of the pesto is the lightly chunky texture – and, if over-blended, the nuts produce too much oil and create more of a nut butter than a pesto.

8. TASTE.

Adjust the taste, adding small amounts of olive oil, sea salt, and your preferred seasonings until you find your happy pesto place.

9. ENJOY!

Toss with pasta, spread over bruschetta, or even scoop up a spoonful – there are countless ways to eat pesto. You’ve earned it!

Buon appetito!

Pesto Pallette_web

SHOP RELATED PRODUCTS