Do you have tons of basil in your garden? I sure do…more than I know what to do with! (Anyone in the area want some basil? Stop on by!)
Planting basil is a must at our house so that we can make one specific thing – Pesto. My girls L.O.V.E. it. My youngest will actually eat it off a spoon by itself! ha!
We love pesto on pasta, chicken, tossed with diced tomatoes, and on sandwiches as a spread. It’s so fresh and yummy! I actually have never bought pesto from the store, so I can’t say how it compares to your favorite store bought brand, but considering most things made from fresh ingredients beat their pre-made opponents, I think you’ll be happy you made some with your own two hands! I have friends that make large batches of pesto and freeze it in ice cube trays for tablespoon-ish size servings during the long winter months. Pop a few in a pan to melt into summery goodness, toss with some pasta and ta-da! I will be doing this since there is no way we’ll eat through all the basil that is in abundance in our garden.
3 cups packed basil
1 cup walnuts
6 cloves garlic
1 cup parmesan cheese
3/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons melted butter
Add basil, walnuts, garlic cloves, and cheese to food processor and pulse to combine. Once combined, add melted butter and drizzle in olive oil while running on low speed until pesto comes together in a smooth consistency.
It’s so easy to make! This is my friends recipe and I love that it’s made with walnuts instead of the traditional pine nuts. It makes it much more economical and I like the flavor of walnuts. Be sure to really pack your basil when you measure for 3 cups. I have been a bit short on basil at times and it really makes a difference. Store your pesto in an air-tight container in the fridge. If the top layer of your pesto turns a darker color – never fear – that just happens!
I’ve gotten pretty good at recreating the Pesto Cavatappi from Noodles & Company. (My girl’s favorite dish there) I think I’ll have to share that recipe here soon!