Basil Pesto is a simple way to make use of all that extra basil growing in your garden. While this recipe is pretty basic, you can get creative by adding nuts or other herbs. Check out the Basil & Toasted Walnut variation below. Or try substituting half of the basil with parsley for a more herbaceous blend.
Makes about 3 cups pesto
4 cups packed basil leaves
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic
Place basil, walnuts, cheese, oil and garlic in a blender. Turn blender on and slowly drizzle in olive oil until, pureeing until you have reached a smooth, pesto-like consistency.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Store in an air-tight container in the fridge for a couple weeks. Or spoon into small plastic baggies, lie flat and freeze.
Basil & Toasted Walnut Pesto
Add 1 cup toasted walnuts to the above recipe.
To toast walnuts, spread them out on a baking sheet and toast in a 400 degree oven until fragrant and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool before combine with other ingredients and processing.