Pesto is a great way to use up fresh basil, but what about all of the other herbs? I’ve gotten cilantro, parsley, chives and mint from friends whose gardens are overflowing and in my own CSA share, and I am never able to use them up fast enough minus the few sprigs that end up in a salad or snipped over scrambled eggs. I end up having to throw the extra away. I start out with good intentions — I’ll freeze them or dry them to use in the fall and winter. But I usually forget about them until I see the brown bunch in the back of the fridge.
Kelsey’s Every Herb Pesto is the best way to use up assorted fresh herbs and to make a super flavorful, tastes-like-summer sauce to spread on crostini, spoon over grilled vegetables, slather on sandwiches and swirl into pasta dishes. Pesto freezes well, so make a whole bunch and freeze it for when it’s all grey outside and there are no green plants to be seen.
Kelsey’s recipe includes instructions for using the pesto to make pesto and tomato crostini, but you can use it however you wish.
Kelsey Nixon’s Every Herb Pesto
Makes: About 2 cups
1/2 cup Marcona almonds, toasted
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 cup fresh spinach leaves
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup basil leaves
1/4 cup fresh tarragon leaves
1/8 cup fresh mint leaves
1/16 cup fresh chervil leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
3/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Garlic-rubbed crostini, optional
Heirloom tomatoes, chopped, optional
Blend the almonds and garlic in a food processor until fine. Add the spinach, cheese, herbs, lemon zest and lemon juice to the food processor. Blend the herbs just enough so they are mixed, about 3 seconds. Add the canola oil and olive oil while the food processor is on a low setting. Season with salt and pepper. Blend to desired consistency. Transfer the pesto to a serving bowl. Place the chopped tomatoes on top of the crostini if using and top with pesto. Any leftover pesto should be placed in a bowl and covered with plastic wrap. Press the plastic wrap right on top of the pesto and refrigerate.
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