For the love of harvesting

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.

My garden basil.

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)

DIRECTIONS:

  • 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.

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