There is nothing like fresh basil pesto to liven up a simple meal! Whether you toss with pasta or potatoes, use in grilled cheese sandwiches or spread on salmon or a pizza fresh beats the jar every time!
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Growing your own in a raised bed herb garden is a great way to go, but if that isn’t going to work for you I find that buying a basil plant is the most economical way to use basil. I keep one or two plants on my porch or counter and pick leaves as I need them. A plant usually lasts me a month and costs $2.99 at Trader Joe’s whereas an already picked bunch costs $4.99 and only stays good a few days.
How to Make Pesto:
Always mince fresh garlic cloves in processor first, then add other ingredients. Give all ingredients a whirl and in a minute, you have fresh basil pesto!
The Recipe: Basil Pesto
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ⅓ cup pine nuts
- 3 medium sized garlic cloves, peeled (this is how I peel mine!)
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- ¼ cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese (skip if you live dairy free)
- Pulse garlic in food processor. Add basil leaves, pine nuts and parmesan. Puree in processor, slowly adding olive oil till desired consistency is achieved. Add a generous pinch of sea salt and a few turns of fresh pepper, scrape down sides of processor and process again adding more olive oil if necessary. To save extra pesto, just place in a small dish, drizzle with olive oil to prevent oxidation and cover with lid or plastic. Keep in fridge for up to 5 days. This makes enough pesto for 16oz of any pasta you choose.
More recipes using fresh basil:
…or my crispy Pesto Salmon with Greens and Crispy Parmesan Bread.
For more amazing recipes check out my cookbooks! They are available in hardcover and ebook here.
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