I have tried to avoid paying the exorbitant prices for herbs in the produce section at the grocery store by growing my own, but more often than not I kill them. Right now my sage is looking really really sorry. Parsley is one I never think to grow because I’m pretty indifferent to this garnish-y plant. I keep running into it in recipes though, and then I feel forced to buy a bunch at Whole Foods, from which I only use 1T. Then the rest of the bunch sits in the crisper drawer getting less and less crisp as I keep telling myself I’ll use the rest of the bunch in another recipe.
Well this time I’ve said NO WAY to the mushy brown muck that usually results from my store bought parsley bunch. I’ve been proactive. I’ve googled Parsley Pesto. Here it is.
1 bunch parsley, you can include the finer stems
2 garlic cloves, pressed, or chucked whole in the processor
1/4- 1/3c grated parmesan, romano, or other sharp Italian cheese
1/3c toasted pine nuts
1/4c olive oil (I used a little less to make it less fatty)
1. Chop or press the garlic cloves. Add to processor. As in the ingredients list, you can just let the processor do the work.
2. Make sure to thoroughly wash the parsley. I try to include herb stems into pestos to bulk them up
without the labor of having to remove the leaves or having to buy another bunch. Chop off the thicker ends, leaving the thinner stems plus leaves. Put these in the food processor. You may need to do this in batches, depending on your processor’s size. Just pulse a bunch of the parsley to get some of the bulk down, and then you can add more.
4. Add the oil, as this will help the processor chop up the ingredients. Go ahead and put the cheese in too (another lazy tip – you can do the same with ungrated cheese as you can the garlic, just be sure to chop the cheese into manageable chunks for the food processor).
5. At some point, you can toast the pine nuts. Make sure to constantly stir these, as you don’t want them to burn (you can see from my picture that I was a little inattentive). After toasting, dump them in the food processor.
6. Continue to pulse until all ingredients are melded. You may have to scrape the sides.
Pesto is really flexible, so walnuts or almonds could be substituted if that’s what you happen to have laying around. Pesto can be frozen for future use if you’re just not that interested in using it in any upcoming meals.