How to Make Pesto, Cheaply

pesto ingredients

To make pesto cheaply, you first need a good kitchen appliance to get the proper creamy consistency.

1. You go on an Internet hunt for the best food processor available, which leads to a Cuisinart Custom 14-Cup as the favorite of most commenters. Consistently five stars. Cost is $199.99 wherever it’s sold.

2. You drive to Ollie’s because people say they have the same stuff really cheap. They don’t have any food processors; but they have an impressive Black and Decker blender for $34, on sale for $29. You’ve always had good experiences with Black and Decker; and, besides, the blender has a glass jar, which is what you want but is very rare. You buy it.

3. At home you see the blender has very short blades (hidden from view until you assemble it) that look blunt and are helpless in the face of basil, which you try to grind.

cuisinart 14 cup food processor
Cuisinart® 14-Cup

4. Decide to return it. If Ollie’s refuses a refund, plan to leave it on the counter and walk out—because what else could you do? Wouldn’t want to give it away or sell it knowing how useless it is. Ollie’s doesn’t even ask why; just hands you the $29 + tax.

5. Next day go to Bed, Bath and Beyond, where there are a lot of Cuisinart appliances but not the one you want. They have a strong looking Kitchen Aid blender for $199. You figure for that money it will do the job. You once had a no-name blender that did a great job making pesto until the engine wore out.

6. Get home. The Kitchen Aid blender has more impressive blades and appears more substantial, but in operation does not work as well as the old blender you once had.

7. Return to step 1. On their website, Bed, Bath and Beyond has the Cuisinart Custom 14-Cup Food Processor you want, at $199.99. Return to store, and ask to return the blender and put the refund toward the purchase of the Cuisinart that’s on their website.

They do all the paperwork; and, in return for signing up for coupons, you get 20 percent off, saving $40 and paying $159.99.

Now all you have to do is wait for the Cuisinart to be delivered, harvest the garlic, let the basil grow a little larger, buy your pine nuts and olive oil at HWFC, and you’ll be ready to make your favorite Basil Pesto recipe.

Judith Brink joined the Co-op 17 years ago when she moved to Albany. She became a working member in the early 2000s, starting with stocking shelves. A few years later, a posting for Orienters led her to change jobs. Judith has been orienting ever since. She is devotedly pro member-labor and hopes the Co-op maintains its recently renewed level of interest in Member participation.