Here’s a basic pesto recipe for ya. I used the HUGE bunch of basil in my CSA box from Johnson’s Backyard Garden. I use walnuts because I fear a second experience with the dreaded Pine Mouth. Walnuts add the same creamy texture, I think. Pecans also work nicely.
Pesto can be frozen, too, in case you have an over abundance of basil. Just pack it in 1-cup (or whatever amount is convenient for your family) containers and pour a tablespoon of olive oil over the top, or enough to cover the surface. The oil keeps it from oxidizing and protects against freezer burn. I’ve found that thawing it over night in the refrigerator works best. I’ve also heard of people freezing it in ice cube trays, then storing the cubes in plastic bags, giving you perfectly sized blocks of basil paste to add to spaghetti sauce.
I use less cheese and less oil in my pesto than you may be used to. This is because I am a stingy cheapskate and Parmesan and olive oil are expensive. You can always add more oil or cheese to the recipe, or just sprinkle more cheese on at the table.
- 1 large bunch basil
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 large clove garlic (about 2 tablespoons minced)
- 1 ounce parmesan cheese, diced
- 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Pull the leaves off the basil and discard the stems. Rinse the leaves and measure. You’ll need 3 cups, lightly packed, for this recipe. If you have more or less, adjust the other ingredients to taste.
- Put the oil in your blender jar first, then all other ingredients.
- Blend until smooth.
- Add salt if needed.
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