When I ran out of the best pesto I’d ever eaten (aka the pesto I brought back from Tuscany), I knew I needed to try and recreate it. Thus, basil almond pesto was born.
The pesto I brought home from Tuscany did not have almonds in it, but I didn’t have cashews and I did have almonds so, almonds it was.
Most recipes for pesto won’t include sugar and will often have other greens added in like kale, spinach, arugala, etc and they’re fine. But they aren’t the same.
Sugar in pesto probably seems odd, but adding some sugar and plenty, seriously plenty, of salt is key to this basil almond pesto.
I hear you, I hear you, crazy people who are afraid of sugar, but in this house we don’t fear it, we embrace it. So if you want the best pesto I’ve ever eaten and maybe the best pesto you’ll ever eat (unless, of course, you go to Tuscany and get amazing pesto), then make this. Just as I instruct.
- 1 cup, lightly packed fresh basil
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup slivered almonds
- 1 small garlic clove
- squeeze of fresh lemon juice
- plenty of salt
- 1 or so tsp of sugar (to taste)
- ⅓-1/2 cup finely grated grana padano, or parmesan in a pinch
- Place all In a blender or food processor, add all ingredients except the cheese. Blend until thick and mostly conbined, but with bits still remaining. You don't want it totally smooth.
- Add the cheese and stir until evenly distributed.
- Taste, add additional salt/sugar to your liking. Maybe even extra cheese.
- Store in a glass jar in the fridge for 3-4 days.
For easy freezing, freeze in an ice cube tray. Once frozen, pop each cube of pesto out and place in a plastic baggie. Thaw as necessary.