Since moving to Texas nearly a decade ago, I have tried growing some sort of produce nearly every summer. I’ve been semi-successful with tomatoes and peppers here and there but nothing really worth bragging about. This summer we had some local teenagers build a raised garden bed for us and I am really looking forward to how this will expand my gardening efforts. This is also the first summer I’ve ventured into growing herbs. I’m proud to say that my basil plant has been thriving! This plant has more than doubled in size in the short couple of months its been living in my backyard. The best way I could think of to honor this beautiful plant is to make pesto out of it. This recipe puts the basil front and center.
You can actually make pesto from a variety of ingredients. You essentially choose your greens, choose your nuts, and combine with the remaining typical ingredients. I love that this enables you to use what you have on hand. This past weekend, I even made a version that used the green leaves from my sweet potato plants. But let’s be honest, most people don’t have those readily available. As I continue to play around with different combinations, I may post some of my favorite pesto recipes. There is a lot to be said, though, for starting with the basics though.
Here, I’ve decided to keep things traditional – basil and pine nuts. Once you put it all together, there are lots of options for using your pesto. I love eating it on toast with hummus and a thick tomato slice. You can use pesto instead of a red sauce as your base on pizza or on pasta. I’m also a huge fan of pesto on fried eggs. I’d love to hear how you end up using this recipe so feel free to leave a comment below with the details.
- Food Processor
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 2 cups fresh basil, packed
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Place pine nuts in a dry sauté pan and cook over medium low heat. Stir frequently until pine nuts are lightly browned. Once toasted, immediately remove pine nuts from heat and place on a separate plate to cool. ***Watch pine nuts closely during this process as they can quickly pass from lightly toasted to burned.
- Place cooled pine nuts, basil, parmesan cheese, and garlic in a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground.
- Add olive oil, lemon juice and salt into the food processor and pulse until smooth.