Michelle Ryan

Presto! Pesto.
Presto! Pesto.

I’m not sure how I made it to only a few years ago without trying pesto – I’m not a farm girl but maybe I indeed was born in a barn! If I could eat an unlimited amount of one food with no ill effects, it would probably be pesto pasta (or cheese, lol). How great is it, then, that pesto is so easy to make this time of year – and FREEZE, if you have too much??

Yesterday I got out my food processor, which I admit I have never used. I’m notorious for buying kitchen appliances in a rush of excitement with big plans…then letting them sit. (hello, juicer) This was obviously a big step for me! Of course it was super easy to use, and the pesto recipe couldn’t have been more simple. Here ya go:


Prep: 10 minutes


2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Regianno or Romano cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine the basil with the pine nuts and pulse a few times in a food processor. If (like me) you use walnuts that are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, then add the basil. Add garlic and pulse a few times more.

Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again til blended. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Yield: about one cup

So I used walnuts because they are much less expensive. I noticed that store-bought pesto is SOOO much saltier than homemade, so I used kosher salt and decided it was going to be much healthier if I just adapted my taste expectations.

You can pick up a huge bunch of fresh basil at the Urbana Market at the Square tomorrow from 7-noon! It’s supposed to be sunny and 83, so no excuses! The link on my Market Mail (click HERE to subscribe) offers a search option for vendors as well as products – click HERE to see where you can buy basil tomorrow.


veggies edit


About Michelle

FAVE MIX ARTISTS: Adele, P!nk, The Killers
FAVE MOVIE: When Harry Met Sally
FAVE LOCAL BARS: Boltini, Tumble Inn
CURRENTLY READING: Nightmares and Dreamscapes
PET PEEVE: People who feel sorry for themselves
I GET TEASED FOR: excessive ironing, being too frugal
ON MY BUCKET LIST: ziplining, going to Europe, whitewater rafting, running a 10k, getting a tattoo (maybe…)
WHEN I’M NOT AT WORK I’M: playing sports or working out at Refinery, doing stuff around my house, or reading