Garden Fresh Pesto –it smells amazing! (We need smell-o-vision!!)
Why make pesto from scratch?
Fresh! It’s the time of year when we can finally start to get the locally grown fruits and vegetables, rather than the ones that were flown half way around the world. The produce tastes better, smells better, and even looks better. Local farmers’ markets are popping up where you can get all kinds of interesting and flavorful fresh fruits and vegetables.
It all starts with the Optimistic Garden
Seasonal ingredients are the best ingredients
I try hard to use the seasonal vegetables and herbs as much as possible in my cooking. They are flavor and nutrient packed, and have that fresh picked taste – because they are freshly picked!! One of my favorite recipes to make this time of year is GARDEN FRESH PESTO.
What I love about the recipe is that I literally have almost all the ingredients on hand throughout the summer. The other thing that I really like about the pesto recipe is that it’s Pareve – there is no cheese in it, so it can be eaten with any gender meal…dairy or meat.
It’s also one of the healthiest things I make – processed vegetables with a little bit of heart healthy olive oil, and I serve it over healthy whole wheat or vegetable penne.
It’s great on omelets, pizza, crusty bread with some tangy feta, and I have even caught my husband eating it plain. You know it’s good when your husband is shnookering the pesto!
This pesto has a little kick to it from the crushed red pepper. For a milder, less spicy pesto reduce or omit the crushed red pepper and black pepper.
4 ripe plum tomatoes, cubed
1 cup fresh parsley leaves
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Combine all the ingredients, except the olive oil, in a food processor bowl.
Pulse until ingredients are coarsely ground.
Add the olive oil and pulse until thoroughly combined.
Transfer to container with a lid and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes for flavors to blend.
Serve over your favorite healthy pasta.
- For a milder, less spicy pesto reduce or omit the crushed red pepper and black pepper
- You can top the final dish with grated parmesan or shredded mozzarella for a delicious dairy dish!
- I sometimes add more herbs than the recipe calls for. Completely herbalicious!
- I have trouble eating garlic lately, so instead of the extra virgin olive oil I use garlic flavored oil and omit the garlic. It’s still delicious.
- If you are interested in making Garden Fresh Pesto a little lighter, reduce the olive oil to 1/4 cup.
- Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
Keywords: Pesto, Dairy Free, Vegan, Nut Free, Plant Based, Gluten Free
More pasta ideas
- Low-fat Fettuccine Alfredo with homemade Spinach Pasta
- Starburst Chicken
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