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The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Learn to Cook: Simple Pesto

Whether you grow your own, shop the farmer's market or pick up local produce at Whole Foods Market, knowing where it comes from makes a difference, doesn't it? Take advantage of whatever's local as you learn to cook-and learn to save-with this Simple Pesto recipe. Why Should I? Pesto is so versatile, you'll never run out of ways to enjoy it. Toss spoonfuls of this no-cook sauce with hot pasta or steamed vegetables, use it as a spread on sandwiches and wraps, or serve as a dip with raw veggies or pita chips. Pesto easily adapts to your budget by substituting sale-priced nuts, herbs/greens and cheese, or what you've got on hand or in the garden. Plus, sunflower seeds might be the ticket for those with nut allergies. {C}What Do I Need? ¼ cup nuts, such as walnuts or pine nuts, or sunflower kernels 2 cups packed chopped raw herbs/greens, such as basil, kale or parsley ½ cup grated hard cheese, such as Parmesan or Romano 2 TB 365 Everyday Value® Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2 TB lemon juice 1 to 2 TB water (optional) ½ tsp salt ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper Okay, Let's Do This Thing Pulse all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. That's it! Different Takes

  • Classic: pine nuts + basil + Parmesan
  • Sunny: sunflower kernels + parsley + Romano
  • Omega-3: walnuts + kale + Manchego
  • Southwest: pumpkin seeds + cilantro + Vella Dry Jack
  • Vegan: cashews + arugula + ¼ cup nutritional yeast

Tips & Tricks

  • Add black olives, artichoke hearts or sundried tomatoes.
  • Use pecans, cashews or soy "nuts" for the nuts.
  • Try green onion tops or spinach for the herbs/greens.
  • Substitute lime, orange or grapefruit juice instead of lemon juice.
  • For even coating, when tossing pesto with pasta, add a splash of the pasta cooking water.
  • Tender stems from greens like basil and cilantro can be included.

You'll find even more health-saving, money-saving recipes, tips and deals in The Whole Deal value guide and there are over $45 in coupons in the in-store guide and online! Have you come up with any creative pesto variations?