Basil is one of my favorite things growing in my garden. I’ve made bruschetta, strawberry-basil salad, spaghetti sauce, and mozzarella sandwiches with basil on top. Basil is so fragrant and delicious.
Last night I made pesto with my parents. They have a ridiculous amount of basil and can’t seem to use it fast enough.
Pesto is so easy. All you need is:
2 cups packed fresh basil
1/3 cup pine nuts
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
I like the mixture of these two cheeses because Romano has a nice bite, but you can use 1/2 cup of one or the other. Also, I’ve heard you can use Walnuts (which are far less expensive) instead of pine-nuts, but my little H. is allergic so we used the traditional pine-nuts.
Just put the basil and nuts in a food processor until chopped down, add garlic and pulse until combined. And then add the olive oil and cheese.
We put it on little baguette breads with mozzarella and it was SO good. But there’s a lot of things you can do with pesto besides as a dip – add a tablespoon to your mashed potatoes, make pesto the base of pizzas, use it as the sauce for any pasta or gnocchi, and I really like it best mixed with cream cheese and milk for a creamy pesto.
One thing my sister-in-law does is freeze individual servings of pesto in ice cube trays so they last longer – and then she just pops a few out when she wants to add it to something. What other ways do you like your pesto? Any good recipe ideas?