I learned this classic recipe while living abroad in Northern Italy, the birthplace of basil pesto. When my basil plant grew wildly out of control I knew I had to take advantage of the delicious leaves before they withered away. My neighbor, a sweet little Italian woman, suggested I make pesto! If you don’t have a basil plant of your own, don’t worry, just pick some up from your local grocer or farmer’s market.
Using pesto in a dish is a great way to add a punch of flavor while still keeping it fresh and healthy. You can make a batch and use it to cook with all week long in your pastas, eggs, vegetable dishes or even slather it on a piece of toast. Get creative with it, there are no rules! In my opinion basil goes with everything. You can even freeze some to make it last longer.
This is a super versatile recipe and many different ingredients can be substituted. For example use your favorite nut instead of pine nuts, parsley instead of basil, or switch out basil for sun dried tomatoes to make a tomato pesto. The alternatives are endless, Buon Appetito!
*Omit the parmesan to make this recipe Vegan friendly*
Equipment: Food processor or blender
1 package or handful of Basil Leaves
2-3 T. Olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1-2 T. Parmesan
2-3 T. Pine nuts (or any other nuts)
1-2 tsp. Lemon juice
Salt & Pepper
Place all the ingredients in food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Wipe down sides and blend again. Adjust seasonings and ingredients to taste.
Add a tablespoon or so to your food while cooking to enhance the flavor.