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Basil Pesto

After being away on the East Coast on an unexpectedly extended trip, I returned home to a flourishing out-of-control basil plant.  What does one do with an abundance of basil?  Make pesto, of course!  

The timing was perfect because I visited E in Golden on Saturday and her garden is full of fragrant, ripe tomatoes.  She generously sent me home with a few (as well as more basil) and I enjoyed a delicious late lunch of tomatoes and fresh basil pesto.  You can use pesto as a sauce for pasta or with sautéed vegetables, but I do enjoy it in it simplest form alongside vine-ripened, home-grown tomatoes.  Mom, I saw your basil plants today... this recipe is for you!

Basil Pesto
Yield = approximately 1 cup

3 cups basil leaves, rinsed
1/4 cup pine nuts, roasted
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp. freshly-squeezed lemon juice
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly-ground pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Using a food processor or blender, process basil, nuts, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper until almost smooth.  Slowly stream in olive oil (using either a food processor or blender, this can be done by streaming it while the lid is still on).  Stir in parmesan cheese.  Taste and adjust salt and pepper as required.

To prevent discoloration when storing pesto, it is best to put a thin layer of olive oil over the pesto and then cover it.

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Reader Comments (6)

I need a pesto recipe! It's one of those things I'm terrible at making if I don't have some guidance. Those tomatoes are making me drool!

September 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterali

Ali, I can't remember where I found this originally (probably Epicurious but I couldn't find it again). I like it! I think, as always, you have to taste and tweak at the end, but it is a good start. I've been putting a dollop of it on various things all week. Yum.

September 7, 2011 | Registered CommenterDarcy Eden

Darcy, I made this yesterday! What a fantastic recipe. I have always had trouble with pesto in the past, but I followed your quantities to a T with the exception of the herbs (I had a ton I needed to use up so I didn't even measure). I used almonds instead of pine nuts and a mix of cilantro and parsley for the herbs. It is soooo tasty! Not for Rob, I know! I am going to post about it soon. We're going to toss it with pasta tonight. Can't wait!

May 22, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterali

Ali, I am so glad it worked for you! I love having pesto on hand to toss with pasta or dollop on whatever I might be eating. It makes me think of summer (appropriate since it is 90 degrees here today). I look forward to seeing your post!

And as for the cilantro, I bet Rob wouldn't notice unless he saw me putting it in the pesto.... sometimes my sneakiness pays off :)

May 22, 2012 | Registered CommenterDarcy Eden

Beautiful pictures!

May 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMeatballs&Milkshakes

Thank you and thanks for your comment!

June 6, 2012 | Registered CommenterDarcy Eden

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