A delicious, traditional classic basil pesto recipe made with fresh, homegrown basil, roasted pine nuts, garlic, extra virgin olive oil and grated Parmesan cheese.
While we visiting our family in Sardegna, Italy during the summer we have the luxury of having fresh, homegrown produce at our fingertips! Basil grows like weeds in our garden so I often find myself creating recipes with this earthy, slightly spicy, herb.
As the summer comes to an end, there is still more often than not an overabundance of basil in the garden, which can only mean one thing…pesto!
Pesto is a great condiment to prepare in bulk since it freezes very well. Store in ice cube trays in the freezer then remove and store in a plastic bag to reduce space.
Here are ways to incorporate pesto into meals;
Add to tomato sauce
Spread over grilled veggies
Add to meatballs
Spread on a sandwich or flatbread
Mix with quinoa, rice or even in frittatas
Add as a garnish for soup
Mix into salad dressing
Add to baked bread or savoury muffins, scones, etc.
Smear on bruschetta
Toss with roasted potatoes or sweet potatoes
Pesto lends to a variety of interpretations; replace basil with kale or spinach, and the pine nuts with roasted walnuts or pumpkin seeds.
Looking for more pesto-inspired recipes? Here are some to try;
Classic Basil Pesto written by Lisa Codina average rating 5/5 - 2 user ratings
Yields: 1/2 cup
2 cups fresh basil
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1-2 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
about 1/4 cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbs. grated Parmesan (optional)
sea salt for taste
This recipes calls for a small food processor. You could also combine the ingredients in a mortar and pestle.Toast pine nuts in small frying pan on medium heat for 2-3 minutes (stirring them constantly) or until slightly browned.In the meantime, remove the stems of the basil leaves and add to the food processor. Add the pine nuts and blend for about 1 minute to grind the pine nuts completely.Slowly drizzle the olive oil (into the spout of the lid of the food processor) while continuously blending, until you get the desired consistency. *TIP: I always make my pesto on the thicker side since I always add some pasta cooking water during the cooking process.Once you have the desired consistency, add the grated Parmesan cheese and sea salt then blend again for a few seconds to combine.