One of the best things about my CSA, besides all the super fresh organic produce, is the challenge each new week of food presents. Often I find I am confronted with totally new vegetables, or an absolute abundance. This week, it was basil. We got more fresh basil than I have ever seen in my life.
Admittedly, I am not a huge basil fan. I don’t care for it in tomato sauce, and the only parts of a Caprese salad I truly enjoy are the tomatoes. But, here I was with basil coming out of my ears and a mission to turn it into something delicious that even I would like. The answer to this dilemma lay in a single word…pesto!
For whatever reason making pesto has always intimidated me but, when I saw this recipe and how simple making pesto really was, I knew I had it in the bag!
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- In a blender combine the olive oil, garlic, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese.
- With the blender running on medium or high, add the basil one handful at a time using a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and help push the basil to the bottom of the blender.
- Once all the basil has been added, continue to blend until all basil is finely chopped.
- If the pesto is too thick, drizzle in olive oil as the blender is running until the desired consistency is reached.
- Add salt and ground black pepper to taste
FYI – pesto oxidizes (turns brown) quickly. To avoid this store pesto in small containers and keep them filled to the top. It also freezes beautifully, so only keep what you need in the fridge, use it ASAP, and freeze the rest. Thaw a new batch as necessary.
Not sure what to do with this delicious creation? Try it on top of chicken or fish, add it to a batch of steamed vegetables like zucchini or use it on top of your eggs for a new twist at breakfast. Honestly, Evan and I have been putting this pesto on top of everything we’ve been eating lately, and so far, it tastes pretty darn good no matter what its with!
This recipe inspired by www.simplyrecipe.com