This summer I discovered that I actually do have a green thumb as I enjoyed tending to the basil seeds I had planted, and was proud of how they flourished and grew in abundance.
Besides using it to can tomatoes and make marinara sauce and add to salads, I made a few batches of basil pesto.
The process is simple, and trust me, you’ll never want to go back to buying store-bought pesto after you make your own, so I’m going to share my basil pesto recipe.
This pesto tastes fresh, tangy, nutty, savory, garlicky with a luxurious texture that can be enjoyed in many ways.
Let’s get started.
INGREDIENTS (makes one batch):
3 to 3.5 cups fresh basil (stems, leaves and if there are flowers on it, you can use those as well)
1/2 cup pine nuts
4 cloves of garlic, roasted (if you are using raw garlic then 2.5 – 3 cloves)
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive oil
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 TBSP freshly grated Asiago cheese
1 TBSP freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1TBSP freshly grated Romano cheese
Sea salt (to taste)
- You can use a food processor, blender or even a mortar and pestle.
- Add basil, pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice in food processor (or blender) and pulse a few times.
- Turn on food processor and stream in the olive oil until it’s all well mixed.
- Add the this mixture into a large bowl.
- Then add all the freshly grated cheeses and mix well.
- Add salt to taste and mix well.
This will keep up to 4 days in the fridge in a tightly sealed container, or up to 6 to 8 months in the freezer.
Pictured below is how much 12 cups of fresh basil made.
Uses for Basil Pesto:
- Pasta (after you cook the pasta, drain and then add room temperature pesto to it and mix)
- Spread on pizza
- Delicious as a spread on sandwiches (especially tomato sandwiches)
- Top it on crostini (this is my favorite, and I add some black kalamata olives and sundried tomatoes)
- Marinara sauce (after your sauce is cooked, add a dollop of pesto)
- Makes a great topping for tomato soup (add after soup is cooked, and before eating)
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section.