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Mix and match pesto

The best kind of recipe is one that is really a framework, suggesting ratios or amounts of ingredients that give freedom to mix and match depending on what’s fresh in the garden



  • 1/4 cup nuts such as walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 3 to 5 garlic cloves (I go light on garlic to make it family friendly but if you’re a garlic fanatic, add more)
  • 5 cups leaves such as basil, cilantro, parsley, arugula, mint, perpetual spinach, or other greens
  • 1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil (the best you can find or afford)
  • 1 teaspoon each freshly ground salt and pepper
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese


  1. Wash and soak greens in a bowl of cold water for five minutes or more. Remove tough stems and spin dry after you finish the step below.
  2. Combine nuts and garlic in a blender or food processor, and chop for about 30 seconds. Once combined, add leaves, and salt and pepper.
  3. Slowly pour in a portion of the oil and puree. Continue this process until all the olive oil is mixed in with the leaves and other ingredients, and your pesto is fairly smooth in consistency.
  4. Finally add the parmesan, and blend until evenly mixed.
  5. Use right away. Add it to salad dressings, or pair it with polenta, pasta, pizza, and homemade scones or bread. Refrigerate or freeze extra pesto in an air tight container

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