Simple Summer Pesto

This pesto embodies what makes Italian cooking so delicious: fresh, simple ingredients. It’s great tossed with pasta, smothered on a sandwich or rubbed onto your favorite protein. 

Pesto Gnocchi is pictured on Sunday, May 8, 2016, in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by James Brosher)Happy Monday, y’all! How was your weekend? For the first time in a long time I spent mine with no plans at all. And it was glorious. I hung around the house, went for a couple of runs, caught up on trashy TV. It felt amazing to have no obligations and spend my time doing whatever the heck I felt like doing. Everyone needs a weekend like that once in a while. It’s freeing!

I find cooking therapeutic, so I spent a lot of my time in the kitchen. I tested out some new recipes from my latest cookbook purchase (review coming your way soon) and threw together a few of our favorite meals so we’d have plenty of options for lunches this week. The only problem with my favorite, easy pesto recipe is there are never any leftovers. It’s one of those meals James and I both adore, so we soak up every last bite of the green goodness with pieces of crusty bread. Nothing made me happier than tasting pesto when we were in Italy and finding it tasted just like my mom’s recipe.

Our go-to way to serve this is over gnocchi, but pesto is delicious no matter what vehicle you use to consume it. I like smothering it on chicken, sandwiches and even throwing a couple of tablespoons into my favorite homemade salad dressing.

Finding lots of fresh basil can be tricky this early in the season, but you can easily substitute spinach for half of the amount of basil required in the recipe. I promise the results are still amazing!

I prefer my pesto thick, packed with garlic and not too oily, so feel free to adjust the recipe to your tastes.

Pesto Gnocchi is pictured on Sunday, May 8, 2016, in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by James Brosher)

Simple Summer Pesto

[ingredients title=”Ingredients”]

  • 3 cups fresh basil (or a combination of spinach and basil)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup high-quality olive oil
  • 1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano, finely grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. pine nuts
  • 1/2 tsp. salt


[directions title=”Directions”]

  1. Combine all ingredients in food processor, starting with only 1/4 cup oil, and pulse until smooth. Add more olive oil until pesto reaches your desired consistency.



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