It all started as a frugal move. To purchase a $3 basil plant instead of a $3 bunch of pre-cut herbs. And then we realized our potential as basil farmers. It seems we grow basil bushes instead of basil plants.
We have opened up our garden gates to neighbors and still had excess. Maybe you are in the same boat, or maybe you just love the fresh aroma of basil.
Adding a few leaves to a fresh pasta sauce creates a great flavor boost… but let’s be honest that’s drop in the bucket with it comes to harvesting a gigantic basil mountain. The most effective and delicious way I tackle my plant is pesto. It is easily freezable and adds great flavor to pastas, vegetables, and more.
How great is this!? I’ve used ice cube trays in the past, but this handy silicone tray
from Pampered Chef is super easy to use!
The recipe evolved from ingredients I always have on hand. I am not one to run out and buy expensive ingredients that I will not incorporate into other meals frequently. In fact, I don’t always have Parmesan cheese on hand – so I list it as optional. Which makes it a great vegan option – but may be a non negotiable for cheese lovers. I would love to hear the any unique features of your pesto.
Also, don’t miss one of my family’s favorite dinner dishes and a potluck favorite — both featuring BASIL PESTO!
- 2C Basil
- 2 Cloves of Garlic
- 2T Olive Oil
- 1/4 Walnuts*
- 1/4C Grated Parmesan Cheese (optional)**
- Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor. You will need to scrape the sides down a few times to ensure all of the ingredients are blended to a smooth consistency.
- Yep, it's that simple.
- *A traditional pesto used pine nuts. I don't use pine nuts as a typical staple - but I do always have walnuts on hand. Experiment with other nuts. I've heard pistachio is amazing! The walnuts have a warmer depth than the pine in my opinion.
- ** If you are planning to freeze your pesto, do not add the cheese. You can add it when you add the pesto to your meal.