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!

Grow it:
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!
Season it:
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!
Make It:

 Homemade Pesto
2 C. packed Basil leaves
Olive Oil
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!