If I had to choose a favorite herb to grown in my garden, it would have to be basil. Maybe that’s because I’m usually successful at growing basil, and I’m not much of a gardener. But it does add such wonderful flavor to so many of my favorite dishes. And I love the smell of fresh basil too!
I often find myself with an over-abundance of fresh basil about this time of year, and that’s when I like to whip up a batch of fresh basil pesto. Pesto is so versatile! You can use it as a sandwich spread or pizza sauce, and these Roasted Pesto Potatoes are one of my family’s favorite side dishes. I’ve had great success freezing pesto too. I put it in small plastic containers and enjoy fresh basil all winter long.
Traditionally pesto is made with pine nuts, but I usually use almonds, since that’s what I’m most likely to have on hand, and they tend to be a bit less expensive. But you can certainly substitute pine nuts in this recipe if you’re a pesto purist!
- 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
- 2 cloves garlic. chopped
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 to 2/3 cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Combine the basil, garlic, almonds and Parmesan cheese in a food processor and pulse a few times, until coarsely chopped.
- With the food processor running, gradually add the olive oil until pesto reaches desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper, to taste,
- Store in an air-tight container and refrigerate for up to one week, or freeze for up to three months.
- Makes about 1 cup.