Here it is, the blog post you have all been waiting for! Just kidding, but Pesto is a recipe that is often requested by many of my friends. It is another favorite thing that I love to make during the summer months when my basil plants are growing like weeds out in the garden. I normally grow at least 5 bushes of basil each summer (some in the ground and some in pots for the back porch), so I have enough fresh basil on hand to make big batches of pesto for myself, and to share with all the other pesto lovers I know.
It has taken a little time to get this one down on paper because when I make pesto, I usually just throw the ingredients in my food processor without doing exact measurements. Recently however, I made sure to measure everything so I can provide it to you! I apologize to all those in the past who I have promised the recipe to and never followed through…here it FINALLY is!
Remember, everything can be tweaked to your taste…you don’t have to add as much garlic if you don’t want to have your pesto spicy, like I do.
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- 12 Cups Basil
- 8 oz. Parmesan (grated)
- 3 Lemons (juiced)
- 10 Cloves Garlic
- 1 Cup Pine Nuts
- Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
prepare your food
First, make sure that all your basil is washed, and free of dirt, and any other critters that might find their way onto your plants. I like using the Fit brand of produce wash, but I also sometimes buy the generic brands from a local health food store like Whole Foods, or Sprouts. After washing the basil, I tear the good leaves off the stems and compost the stems and leaves that were eaten by bugs, wilted, etc.
Next, prep the rest of your food so you can just throw it all together in the food processor. This means juice your lemons, grate your parmesan (I recommend using a grated block of parmesan over any kind of bagged/pre grated parmesan for better taste and overall quality of your pesto), peel your garlic, and get everything else out on your counter that you need for this recipe.
- In your food processor, mix garlic, pine nuts, a handful of parmesan, and a few generous swirls of olive oil until smooth and creamy.
- Scrape down sides with spatula, add basil to the top of your food processor and top with juice from approximately 2 lemons. Pulse until well blended.
- Repeat step 2, but with a couple swirls of olive oil instead of lemon juice.
- Add remaining cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Top off with any remaining basil and lemon. Blend.
- Taste your pesto and see if it needs any additional salt and pepper (or maybe more garlic!).
- Store in small ball jars until you’re ready to use!
If you would like to print this out, HERE IS THE RECIPE IN PDF.
- If you’re storing pesto in the fridge, fill jars to the very top so there is no air in the jar and it will keep for months! Once there is air in the jar the pesto will start to oxidize and brown a little on top. This doesn’t mean that the pesto has gone bad! Just scoop out the brown part and use the rest of the green pesto.
- If you want to freeze the pesto, leave a little space at the top for it to expand in the freezer. Freezing changes the consistency a little, but it still will taste good, and freezing is a good way to have pesto saved for winter months!
- If my pesto is a little on the thick side and I want to make pesto pasta, I will take a small ladle of boiling water (that I am cooking the pasta in) and mix it in to the pesto to thin it out before I toss the pasta and pesto together and serve!
- Pesto tastes great on pastas, toast, in eggs, or just as a dip with crackers.
I hope you all enjoy this recipe. Comment and let me know how you use your pesto (I recommend trying it on Grilled Pizza), or if you have any additional questions.
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