Basil is summer to me.
It makes a debut in just about everything I cook from June-September.
I can’t get enough of this sweet vibrant herb.
One of my favorite ways to use basil is to make pesto.
Pesto is a simple savory Italian sauce that is generally made of basil, pine nuts, garlic, cheese, and olive oil.
I like to add either a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice or red wine vinegar to finish the pesto. It’s gives just a bit of freshness at the end. Definitely a worthy addition but certainly not required.
I like to make a big batch in the fall when I have basil in excess. It freezes exceptionally well and you can’t beat that little taste of summer come mid November!
Pesto is so versatile and has endless uses. I have a few recipes to share you over the next few weeks that use this vibrant green sauce so make sure to come back and visit. Until then, here are a few recipes I’ve gathered from around the web that I think look delish.
Creamy Pesto Fettucini with Mushrooms and Tomatoes, from This Week For Dinner
Pesto Garlic Bread, from Sam the Cooking Guy
Arugula Salad with Pesto Vinaigrette, from Ellie Krieger
Grilled Tofu Stacks with Pesto and Grilled Vegetables, by Cookin’ Canuk
Corn, Pesto and Tomato Pizza, from Baked Bree
Pesto Potato Salad with Green Beans, from Smitten Kitchen
Foil Baked Salmon with Basil Pesto and Tomatoes, from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Two Bean Pesto Dip, from How Sweet It Is
- 1 cup “packed” fresh basil leaves, about 2 cups loosely packed
- 4 oz pine nuts
- 3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 medium garlic clove
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice (optional)
Place basil in the base of a food processor fitted with a blade and pulse 5 or 6 times. Add pine nuts, parmesan cheese, and garlic. Pulse to combine. Slowly add olive oil until a consistent sauce is formed. Add lemon juice or red wine vinegar if using and give one last pulse. Season with salt. Pesto is best used within a two days of making. You can save pesto in fridge up to a week covered tightly with plastic. If freezes well too.
I use LOADS of pesto too. This year, I planted no less than TEN basil plans. I thought I’d gone overboard but it turns out that it’s the right amount!
I’m completely in agreement on the love for basil. I never get tired of those flavors!