Traditionally pesto is made with lots of high quality, pretty expensive ingredients. The pine nuts alone will set you back $19 or so a pound.
I love pine nuts but just can't stomach shelling that much out for a nut.
This year I decided to come up with a super easy, healthy and CHEAP recipe for making delicious pesto.
Ingredients: (all are rough estimates)
*1 cup packed basil leaves (got mine from my garden)
*3/4 cup packed chard or spinach leaves (also from my garden)
*1/3 cup almond meal (this was the cheapest available nut at Trader Joes. It came already ground in to a meal and was cheaper for the same weight than buying whole nuts. If you want to make it even cheaper you can use Sunflower Seeds)
*2 garlic cloves (add more to taste)
*Drizzle olive oil till it gets to the consistency you like. I used about 1/4 cup+
*Salt to taste
Make sure you wash the greens well, especially if you pick them from your own garden.
This recipe is so easy. Quite literally you throw all the ingredients in to a food processor or blender and go crazy.
Last night we enjoyed the pesto on some tortellini and it was really good. I plan on making this many times while my basil lasts. I may even freeze some so I can enjoy it later as well.