Monday, July 21, 2014

Simple Pesto

I love a good pesto. It is so versatile and easy to make and it goes with just about anything. When we planted our garden this year, I wanted to have plenty of basil so that I could make and freeze a lot of pesto. That's what I did over this past weekend. I've been picking leaves here and there for recipes calling for basil, but this weekend I picked a whole plant's worth of leaves, coming to about 5 cups. I used this recipe from the Food Network, except I substituted sunflower seeds for the pine nuts. I've read that you can substitute just about any nut for pine nuts in pesto. Also, you can use just about any green instead of basil. I've made it with spinach before and it tasted just as good. The Parmesan, nuts, and garlic really pull it all together.

Here are my 2 basil plants. I left one in tact but will probably go ahead and pesto it up in a week as well. 

I washed and picked out the blemished leaves.

Ingredients: (I'm listing the original amounts in the recipe above even though I had to multiply it by 2.5 for my recipe)
2 Cups Packed, fresh basil
1/4 cup Sesame seeds
2/3 cup Olive Oil
1/2 cupParmesan
2 Garlic cloves

Begin by chopping the garlic in the food processor.

 I added the basil and olive oil next, then slowly poured in the nuts and Parmesan. I also added some sea salt.

For preservation purposes, I filled ice cube trays and froze the pesto. This makes them easier to store in ziplocks. When you need some pesto, you simply defrost a cube (or 2 or 3). It may need reconstituted with some olive oil, depending on what you're going to use it for.  Super easy.

For an added bonus, here are some links to some pesto recipes.

Pasta, Pesto, and Peas - by Food Network
Caprese Salad with Pesto Dressing - by Closet Cooking (also featured here on my blog)
Basil Pesto Chicken - by the Hobo Chicken
Lemon Pesto Rice - by Kalyn's Kitchen
Tortellini Salad - by The Dreaming Foodie

What is your favorite pesto recipe?

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