You know what’s really tasty? Pesto.  You know what is embarrassingly easy to make? You guessed it!  All you need is a blender or a food processor and some basic ingredients and you’re on your way!  Herb sauces come in a variety of names: pesto, pistou, chimichurri, salsa/salsa verde … but for me, it’s pretty much all the same method, so stick with me, forget any rules you may have learned, and let’s blend some green goo!


The Goods:

  • your favorite green stuff: basil, parsley, cilantro, scallions, kale, arugula, spinach, etc
  • lemon juice
  • vegetable or peanut oil (olive oils can go bitter when they’re hit with blades)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional: garlic, shallot, hots, capers, olives, other layers of flavor
  • optional: nuts or seeds (for thickening and body)

The method:

Step 1: pack your blender or food processor!

So in the work bowl of my food processor, this batch was: a handful of pepitas, a bunch of cilantro, a bunch of parsley, a fistful of basil, and some arugula. If you’re using garlic/shallots/hots, add them in at this time too.  Really, just go with your gut!

Splash in some lemon juice (what’s the actual volume of “a couple glugs?” maybe 1/4ish cup?) and add a hefty pinch or so of salt and pepper.

Step 2: pulverize!

You want everything to get nice and chopped up into itty bitty pieces.  You should end up with like… a chunky paste.

Step 3: add your oil! You can either drizzle it in through a feed tube while your blades are going, or you can just dump like a cup of oil into the bowl or blender and just go for it. Yes, this is about as precise and specific as this recipe gets.

Steps 4 – ?? Adjust the consistency and flavor!

  • Is your goo too thick? Add more liquid (for purposes of “liquid” I’ll accept oil, lemon juice, vinegar, or water)
  • Is your goo too thin? You can thicken it up by adding some more green stuff or some more nuts or seeds.
  • How does it taste? If it’s too lemony, add more oil and/or greens. If it’s not lemony enough … well, that’s an easy fix. Does it just taste kind of blah or bland? Add more salt or garlic/cheese/nutritional yeast/hot sauce/whatever

The key here is … take it to wherever you want it! Some goos I make are very runny and I use them as salad dressings. Some goos are thick enough to stand a spoon up in, and I use those for spreads. This particular goo, as you can see, I spread on some salmon before whacking the whole thing into the oven.

But ultimately, you can use your goo for whatever you like! Salad? Great. Rice? Awesome! Pasta? Yeah, rock on. Dip for crusty bread and veggies? Whoo hoo! Secret ingredient in your tuna salad? I support it!