This is the time of year when we trim our bright green plants and stock our freezer with homemade Basil Pesto. Because really, when it’s mid-January and we loathe that we’ve been cold for what feels like months, what could be better than something springy and green and fresh?!
So maybe take the plunge. Buy a basil plant, make some pesto and hide some behind the popsicles for later.
This pesto makes an excellent soup garnish, (recipe coming soon!) or a healthy pasta sauce– especially mixed with greek yogurt and fresh parmesan.Below is my favorite Pesto recipe. It’s simple and pretty easy to throw together. It freezes well even in a glass jar, if you leave enough head space at the top or freeze it in ice cube trays.
(You will need a food processor for this recipe. If all you have is a small one-cup chopper, make the recipe in two batches.)
- 2-3 cloves of garlic
- 2 oz. of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup of toasted almonds or walnuts (The original recipe calls for pine nuts.)
- 2 cups of Packed Basil Leaves, washed and dried
- 2 tbs. fresh Parsley (optional)
- ½ cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- ¼ tsp of salt
- ⅛ tsp of freshly ground pepper
- Turn your food processor on and drop the cloves of the garlic through the top opening. (This will result in a good mince.)
- Add the nuts and the cheese and blend briefly until the nuts are ground up.
- Add the basil and pulse again.
- Add the oil in a slow steady stream through the top opening.
- Stop half way through the oil. This will result in a thick paste.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and then add however much oil you need to reach your desired consistency.
- Add salt and pepper and then taste for flavor.
- If the pesto tastes flat, try adding more parmesan or a pinch more salt.
- Use the pesto right away or store well covered.
- If you are storing it in the fridge for a few days, pour a small amount of olive oil on top to slow the discoloration.