Basil Pesto is a great recipe to make all summer long with fresh basil right from the garden or farmers’ market. It’s easy to make and is so flavorful.
Pesto is a great sauce that is made with fresh basil. It’s so flavorful so it’s a great topping to pasta and an addition to sandwiches, pizzas, and side salads.
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When quarantine started, we decided that a good family activity to do would be to learn to garden. It’s a great activity to take on as it teaches the kids about growing plants and then we get to enjoy them in the end.
We had several cucumber plants that did so well, but a few rainy days water logged them and they died. At least we enjoyed one really tasty cucumber before that.
Our biggest win is pots and pots of board leafed, hearty, aromatic basil. If we only ever grew basil, and a few tomato plants, I would be incredibly happy. I love pesto so this is perfect for me to make lots pesto all summer long
Summer Basil Pesto
Pesto is an Italian sauce that is from the city of Genoa in Italy that dates back to Roman times. It is made with basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan Cheese and olive oil.
Pesto was to the 80’s like the cronut was to the 2010’s. It was served in restaurants to foodies in great abundance. It became less trendy over time, but it didn’t become any less tasty.
You can buy pesto right from your local grocery story, but homemade is so much better. Traditionally, it is enjoyed on pasta, but it’s great on so many dishes. Enjoy it on eggs, mixed into mayonnaise for sandwiches, on pizza, and baked into bread.
Make a big batch of pesto because you’ll love it so much that you’ll be scooping it onto everything. Yum!
Thoroughly wash and dry the fresh basil. Pick the leaves away from the stems.
In a food processors, or blender, combine the basil, garlic, Parmesan Cheese, pine nuts, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes. As you blend, add in the Extra Virgin olive oil.
Because the Parmesan cheese is salty, taste the Pesto before adding in the salt. You don’t want to add too much salt. If you do, you can mellow it out with a bit of water and a pinch of honey.
Enjoy summer’s bounty of fresh basil by making batches nad batches of summery Basil Pesto. It’s a delicious sauce that you will be enjoying all day long on your eggs, sandwiches, and pastas.
What are the ingredients?
- Pine Nuts (or walnuts)
- Parmesan Cheese
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Lemon juice
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- Salt & Pepper
How do you make pesto?
Pesto is so great because it is so incredibly easy to make. The ingredients are basically just added to a food processor and blended until the herby sauce is made.
Why does basil pesto turn brown?
The chemical reaction that makes cut basil (apples and avocados too) turn brown is called oxidation. This is what happens when the cut leaves are exposed to air.
Oxidation won’t ruin the pesto, but will turn it brown. The lemon juice in the pesto also helps prevent it from browning so quickly. Also, you can place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the top of the pesto to reduce the amount of air making contact to the pesto while you store it.
Alternatively, to prevent oxidation, you can blanch the basil leaves in boiling water for a few seconds in boiling water until they turn bright green.
- 4 ounces fresh basil
- 2 Tablespoons chopped garlic
- 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 Cup of toasted pine nuts
- 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 Sup of extra virgin oil olive
- 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice
- salt to taste
- Combine the basil, garlic, toasted pine nuts, and Parmesan Cheese, lemon juice, crushed red pepper flakes, and pepper in a food processors, or blender. While blending, add the oil in a steady stream.
- Season with salt to taste.
Lemon is not a traditional ingredient, but it helps preserve it from turning too brown, and gives it a wonderful fresh flavor.
Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 76Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 389mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 2g