Basil, Pesto, Summertime.
They all go together like t-shirt, jeans and sandals.
It’s peak harvest season and I wanted to take the opportunity to share a little bit of knowledge on basil and my simple (and slightly addictive) Pesto recipe!
Basil is one of the easiest herbs to grow and can be grown outside, or indoors in a sunny window, and let me tell you, a little goes along way. The only downfall is that it is an annual, so you have to replant each year.
Tip: pinch off any flower buds that form in able to extend the producing life of the plant!
Try putting a couple of leaves in your sandwiches, chop up a little fresh into your pre-made spaghetti sauce, or layer tomato and mozzarella for a perfect appetizer. Last weekend I mixed shredded mozzarella with my homemade pesto and stuffed small tomatoes with it. Twenty minutes in the oven and my dinner guests were oh-so-happy!
2 C. packed Basil leaves
Juice from 1/2 a Lemon
1/4 C. Walnuts
1 or 2 Garlic Cloves (peeled)
2 Tbs. Parmesan Cheese
Salt & Pepper
Directions: Place basil and lemon juice in a wide-mouth quart jar, or a deep mixing bowl. With an electric hand blender* start grinding the basil and slowly drizzling in olive oil until it is almost smooth (you will use approx. 1/4 oil). Add walnuts, garlic and cheese. Blend until fairly smooth, trying not to overblend. Salt and Pepper to taste. Enjoy!
*I love to use my handy hand blender but a traditional blender will work, it just takes a little more effort to stop and scrape down the sides repeatedly.
Last Stop: Freeze any extra pesto in small containers and enjoy your summer love all year long!