It is basil season. I have 2 things planted in my garden: tomatoes and basil. I decided to keep it simple this year and only plant my 2 favorite ingredients. I over-planted last year and could not keep up! The tomatoes are still green but I am overflowing with basil. An abundance of basil = time for pesto. Pesto is very easy to make and very adaptable. Later this week I am going to be making a cold bean and pesto salad so I thought I would pre-make the pesto and freeze it.
LEMON GARLIC PESTO
(makes about 2 cups)
Prep time: 20 minutes
You will need:
4-5 cups fresh basil leaves, stems removed
2 garlic cloves
1 cup walnuts, toasted
1/2-1 cup olive oil
Remove stems from basil, add to food processer (or blender if you don't have one).
Toast walnuts in oven or broiler for 5 minutes, be careful not to burn! Allow them to cool for 5 minutes and then add to food processor.
Pulse/blend the mixture
Chop garlic and add to the mixture along with olive oil, lemon and salt. Blend ingredients until smooth.
Scrape into a tupperware, label with the date and place in freezer! OR use right away on pasta, meat, potatoes, fish or as a spread to bread. You will also want to add some fresh parmesean cheese when you serve, however, because I am freezing mine I withheld the cheese.
Stay tuned for my pesto bean salad I will be making at the end of the week!
Pesto has so many variations. I used walnuts and lemon for a non-traditional twist. You can substitute pine nuts or pecans for the nut and add variations such as roasted red pepper or arugula to the pesto. Use your imagination!