Fresh Basil Pesto
Every year I plant basil because I love it so much. It is so easy to grow and a lot less expensive then buying it. Now, with all the rain, I have a ton of basil, 3 different kinds. I never want it to go to waste, so what better to make with it, then Pesto. I freeze mine and use it as needed in a recipe.
My friend had emailed me yesterday and asked if I have a good Pesto recipe. This is a simple recipe that I have for Pesto. There are different things you can add to Pesto to give it a twist. Try adding Sun dried tomatoes, red pepper flakes, spinach leaves, or toast your pine nuts first for a roasted nutty flavor.
If you have a lot of basil, double the recipe. You can keep it in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Another idea is to pour it into ice cube trays and freeze it. When frozen break and place into a freezer bag. Take out what you need when you need it. Each cube is 1 serving. Just add the cube at the end of cooking a recipe.
The best tip I ever got about Pesto is if you are serving it with pasta, after you boil the pasta, reserve 1 cup of the pasta water. Place 2 Tbsp of pesto into the water and stir. The starch in the water makes a nice thick sauce. Then pour into your pasta, chop up fresh tomatoes, and some leftover chicken. A meal! Also, try adding it to potatoes, rice, or risotto.
Pesto can simply be spread onto bread and served. No cooking involved. I would love to hear any of your pesto suggestions or comments. Enjoy!
Makes 1 Cup of Pesto
2 Cups of Fresh Basil Leaves
1/2 Cup of Parmesan-Reggiano Cheese
1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 tsp of Lemon Juice
1/4 Cup of Pine Nuts or Walnuts
3 Garlic Cloves
Kosher Salt & Crushed Black Pepper to taste
- Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor
- Mix until completely chopped and smooth consistency