Appetizers, Eat, Entertaining, Recipes

Presto Pesto!


Summer seems to be a busy season. When it stays lighter later, I find myself wanting to max out my days instead of settling in early for the night. That means, quicker showers, less time at home, more in the sun, and when it comes to cooking, making easy shmeezy meals that require minimal clean up.

Last week, I ordered a salad that had pine nuts in it at one of my favorite downtown lunch spots. They were so crunchy, nutty, and added such a nice toasty taste to my dish that when it came time do to my weekly grocery shopping, the thought of pine nuts was still lingering in my mind. I quickly thought about what I could do with them, and about an hour later, what I will call ‘Presto Pesto’ came alive just long enough to be eaten!

Here’s how:


  • 1 small package of pine nuts
  • 1 package of fresh basil leaves
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil


  1. In a small food processor, blend 1/2 cup of pine nuts, 1/2 cup of fresh basil leaves, and the juice from 1/2 of the lemon until finely chopped.
  2. Gradually add the olive oil, first half, then blend, then the other half.
  3. Add the parmesan cheese, as desired, and blend until the mixture is hearty.  Add more olive oil and lemon juice as desired if you prefer your pesto thinner.

I added the Presto Pesto to whole wheat angel hair pasta.  After I boiled the water and added in the pasta, I made the pesto while it cooked. Once the pasta was soft, I strained the water out, added a serving to a bowl, then tossed in a few tablespoons of the pesto. I added freshly chopped tomatoes on top to cut the sharpness of the basil, lemon, and parmesan. You can also add a few sprinkles of freshly chopped basil on top before serving your guests (or yourself!).

Also, double the recipe and add pesto to sandwiches or on top of crostini (small toasted pieces of bread) with tomatoes and cheese for an easy appetizer!

Presto! You have a healthy, light, quick, and flavorful meal in minutes so you can get out and enjoy the summer sunshine!

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