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Garden Fresh Basil Pesto is perfect tossed with hot pasta, spread on a sandwich or slice of crusty bread, or dolloped on grilled chicken or fish.
Every year I feature recipes with our home-grown garden vegetables and herbs as the stars. These “garden-to-table” posts have been few this year as we were late getting the garden planted, and then came the heat. However, we have enjoyed a great deal of yellow squash and cucumbers and a very prolific basil plant! I’ve made pesto and featured it in several recipes on the blog but never gave it a well deserved post of it’s own. If you’ve never made your own basil pesto, don’t wait another minute! What do you do with pesto?
Pesto is one of the easiest things in the world to make. There is no cooking, baking, boiling or frying required. All you need is a food processor and a few fresh ingredients.
Blend together garlic, pine nuts, basil leaves, salt and pepper until pasty.
Add some really good freshly grated Parmesan cheese, great cheese makes all the difference.
Pulse to add the cheese, then with the processor running, drizzle in good quality olive oil. Again with the good-quality stuff but it really does make it great!
Now you have amazing, wonderful, fragrant and full bodied Basil Pesto, fresh from the garden!
Over the years this recipe has evolved as I changed the ingredients slightly and tweaked the measurements here and there. This is without a doubt, my favorite to date!
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PRINT THE RECIPE!
- 2 large cloves garlic crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 cup tightly packed basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Add the garlic, salt, pepper, basil and pine nuts to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until well blended. Scrape the sides with a spatula and pulse again. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until mixed. With the processor running, slowly drizzle the olive oil through the chute and process until smooth.
- Check the seasonings and sprinkle with additional salt and pepper if needed.
- Use immediately or put in a small bowl and press a piece of plastic wrap on the top to seal out any air bubbles. The pesto will turn dark if left exposed to air.
Before adding the cheese, pesto can be frozen in small batches (use a plastic wrap lined ice cube tray). Store the frozen pesto cubes in an airtight container until ready to use. Add the basil pesto "cubes" to soups and pasta or any of your favorite sauces.
We love our food processor!
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Here are a few other recipes you can enjoy with Pesto
This year we moved our basil from our garden to a large pot on the deck. It has thrived on the deck and I am thrilled! Did you know basil is a natural mosquito repellant? Bonus! Basil is a beautiful plant that needs to be pruned often to prevent it from flowering. If flowers develop the plant will stop producing leaves. Even if you don’t plan to use the clippings, bring them inside and place in a jar of water to enjoy the lovely fragrance.
Be sure to stop by later this week for a wonderful recipe using all this great pesto!
Thanks so much for stopping by!