If you’ve ever grown your own herb garden, you probably know that one of your more prolific plants is basil. It grows easily and yields lots and lots of leaves. Lots of leaves. Like, more than you can use. One delicious way to use all of that basil is in a fresh basil pesto. I made a batch of this tonight, and it was a big hit at the Hill Hangout. Start with the following:
2 cups packed basil leaves, washed
1 jar pine nuts
1/3-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup parmesan cheese
3 cloves garlic
Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
This project requires a food processor, or at least a mini-chopper. If I were a real cook, I might have a food processor. As it were, I am a faux cook, who must use a mini chopper on the big jobs like pesto. 🙂
First, peel and chop the garlic in the food processor.
If you are like me and this is the first time you have ever purchased pine nuts, here is what you’re looking for. They come in a small jar.
Add the pine nuts to the garlic and chop, chop, chop.
Next, pack in your basil and add a few tablespoons of the olive oil so that it will process more smoothly. Process until all basil is chopped very fine, adding more EVOO if needed. Lastly, add the parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Give it a final whir in the food processor making sure that it’s well-blended.
Now you have a delicioous pesto that can be used many different ways. We ate it as a dip with pita chips,. It can be added to cooked noodles for a colorful side dish for fish, chicken, or most any entree. It’s fabulous in chicken salad. Just add about 1/3 cup of pesto to a basic chicken salad recipe. Use it as a spread for a grilled ham and cheese sandwich. A shrimp pasta with pesto would be fabulous! And you’ve probably seenit on toasted bread rounds, topped with a tomato. Pesto is a delicious way to add some flavor to lots of family dishes. The Hill Four gave it eight thumbs up!