Have you ever planted basil in your garden thinking, “Sure, a little fresh basil on my pizza or with my pasta would be tasty!” only to walk out to your garden and encounter an overly abundant basil plant begging to be picked?
I have! Well, truthfully my husband plants the basil and then tells me that there’s 8 cups of fresh basil that he picked that we need to do something with. What now? Pesto!
Pesto packs so much flavor in a tiny punch. The ingredients are simple, the instructions are even simpler, but the flavor is strong and full! Pass up the expensive jars of pesto at the store and make your own!
What you need:
- 2 c. fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 c. pine nuts
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 c. parmesan cheese
- 1/4 c. olive oil
- 1/2 t. salt
* Most recipes of basil pesto are a variation on these basic ingredients. If your family prefers more garlic, add more! Think it needs extra cheese? Go for it!
- small saucepan (optional)
- food processor
Time: 10 minutes
Freezeable: Yes! I always keep it frozen, even if I intend to use it the next day since it defrosts so quickly.
Serves: 1 batch yields 8 oz. I store them in 4 oz jars. 4 oz is enough to put on a pizza or use for 1 lb of pasta.
Multiplying the recipe: Definitely! I typically make a quadruple batch of this when we have an overflow of basil. Make as much as your food processor will fit!
As an optional step, you can lightly toast the pine nuts by heating a small saucepan over medium and adding the nuts. Toss them lightly in the pan for just 2-3 minutes until they turn a golden brown and let off a nutty aroma. Be careful not to cook them too long, lest they become too dry.
Add all ingredients except for the olive oil into the food processor. Pulse a few times. Then, with the machine running, slowly add the olive oil through the top. Process until pesto reaches your desired consistency, scraping down the sides when necessary. Use immediately or freeze for later!
To freeze the pesto, place it in 4 oz mason jars and cover the top with a layer of olive oil (about 1 t. per jar). This helps to keep the pesto fresh and retain its green color. Cover with lid and freeze.