Timothy Cunningham

Pesto Recipe Ratios


If you plant some basil plants, you will soon find you have more basil than you can handle.  One of the tastiest usages of heaps of basil is to make pesto. However every time you pick basil, or maintain it by pinching off the big leaves or removing flowers to encourage growth, you end up with different amounts of leaves. 

Your current pesto recipe calls for 3 cups of packed basil leaves, but you only have 2: What to do?

Use a pesto ratio.
Not a recipe. 

A starting ratio for pesto is 1:2:2:8. 1 part nut: 2 parts oil: 2 parts grated cheese: 8 parts herbs

So let us say you pick two packed cups of basil or other fresh herbs.  Divide that into 8 parts, which would be a 1/4 cup.  You now have the "1" in your ratio. Your recipe based on two cups of packed herbs would be:

1/4 cup nuts (pine nut, peanut, walnut, cashew or combo of all)
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup grated cheese 
2 cups packed basil or other herbs
Blend until smooth.
Add salt to taste
Store in jar top with oil to protect from air and refrigerate.

You can scale this up or down based on the amount of basil you pick. Admittedly the math gets hard when you start dealing with odd amount of measurements, this is where I usually fill out the herbs to get to more easily divisible number, for instance if I have 3 1/2 cups of basil add a 1/2 cup of parsley or cilantro to get to 4 cups.  You can also go "European" and switch to milliliters if you have cups with metric markings.

Now that you have made pesto you can use it as a dip or spread, or cook up some pasta with some mushrooms and bacon and you have yourself a quick tasty lunch.



Post a Comment