I’ve got loads of basil in my garden, and even more comes home every week from my farm share. When I don’t have a specific recipe in mind that calls for basil, I make a big batch of pesto and freeze it in an ice cube tray. That way, when I want to pull out a small portion to add to a soup or defrost for pasta, I can get just the right amount.
Another way I’ve recently been using pesto is this pesto cream cheese spread. I should actually call it “yogurt cheese” because it comes from homemade yogurt that I’ve strained into a cream cheese consistency. But who’s ever heard of yogurt cheese? Cream cheese works just as well if you want to take a shortcut. (Although if you have a cooler and a kitchen timer, you really should try making your own yogurt. It’s so easy!)
Pesto Cream Cheese Spread
$.24 per serving
For the Pesto
- 3 cups basil loosely packed
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 tbs freshly grated parmesan cheese optional
- 1/4 tsp salt
For the Pesto Cream Cheese Spread
- 4 tbs cream cheese (or yogurt reduced to the consistency of cream cheese)
- 2 tbs pesto mixture
Combine all the pesto ingredients in a food process and mix until well combined.
Mix 2 tablespoons of pesto with 4 tablespoons of cream cheese. (You'll have leftover pesto for another time.)
Spread on crackers or bread, or toss with warm pasta.
Pesto Cream Cheese Spread Price Breakdown
The batch of pesto costs $3.36 to make, or $.42 per tablespoon. The pesto cream cheese spread costs $.96. It’s enough to generously cover four pieces of bread, so it comes out to $.24 per serving. This is a great, nutritious alternative to store-bought spreads, which tend to be full of preservatives. You won’t need any preservatives if you make this spread – it will be gone in no time!