Basil Pesto

basil
This summer was an exceptional summer in the garden. I ended up with a large harvest of fresh basil. After making caprese salads, marinara sauce and Oven-dried tomato spread, I still had bunches of it left over.


It was time to make pesto. This simple Italian sauce is the perfect way to take a large amount of fresh herbs and consolidate them into a small container that can be stored in the freezer until you are ready to use it.


Basil Pesto

Makes: 2 1/2 Cups

Ingredients:

3 Large Cloves Garlic

1 tsp Kosher Salt

1/2 Cup Pine Nuts

2 Cups Shredded Parmesan Cheese

4 Cups Packed Fresh Basil

1 Cup Olive Oil

Directions:

Wash basil thoroughly in cold water and place on a towel to dry.


Pick leaves from stems and discard all stems and flowers. Place on a towel until ready to use. Don’t worry if there is still a little water on them. It will help to emulsify the sauce.


Toast pine nuts in a 350 F oven for 4-5 minutes. Cool on pan until ready to use.


In a food processor, combine garlic cloves and salt. Pulse until chopped.


Add toasted pine nuts and Parmesan cheese and process until you have a thick paste.


Add the basil all at once. If your food processor is not large enough to do this, add it in 2 batches.


Secure the lid and run the food processor until the basil is about half chopped. At this point start adding the olive oil in a thin stream until all the basil is chopped finely and sauce is emulsified.


Use immediately or store in the freezer until needed.

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